Malaysia: Abolition of Mandatory Death Penalty A Progressive Step Forward

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The mandatory death penalty regime does not provide justice as it deprives judges of the discretion to sentence based on the situation of each individual offender.


This regime has resulted in absurd sentences that have led to public outcries, such as those involving Hairun Jalmani, a single mother sentenced to death for drug trafficking in Tawau, and Mainthan Arumugam, a person on death row for a murder that never happened. In addition to abolishing the mandatory death penalty, critical reform, including but not limited to mental health and criminal culpability; redefining drug offenses to account for drug mules and other exploited individuals within the drug trade; and strengthening rehabilitative justice and victim support system needs to be considered.


ADPAN reiterates our support for Malaysia’s abolition of the mandatory death penalty and calls on the Malaysian government to engage with key stakeholders and experts to support and further the systemic reform suggested by the Minister of Law.

ADPAN is the peak regional body for organisations committed to the abolition of the death penalty across Asia-Pacific, with members from approximately 22 countries within the region. As such, ADPAN maintains that the death penalty violates the right to life, that it is the ultimate form of cruel, inhuman, and degrading punishment, and that the death penalty should be entirely abolished internationally. Email: Website: For more information, please contact Dobby Chew at

Position: Co -Founder of ENGAGE,a new social venture for the promotion of volunteerism and service and Ideator of Sharing4Good

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