The Malaysian cabinet announced during the commemoration of World Day Against the Death Penalty on Oct. 10 that it had decided to abolish capital punishment and halt pending executions in the country, three months after imposing a moratorium on this form of punishment. (Reuters Photo/Athit Perawongmetha)

Indonesia Urged to Follow in Malaysia's Footsteps and Abolish Death Penalty

BY :SHEANY

OCTOBER 15, 2018

Jakarta. Indonesia must follow in Malaysia's footsteps and abolish the death penalty because the county's legal system is still prone to making mistakes, while the punishment itself does not serve as a deterrent, a lawmaker said on Friday.

"Malaysia's plan to abolish capital punishment deserves our appreciation and should be emulated," Charles Honoris, a member of House of Representatives Commission I, which oversees defense, intelligence, foreign affairs and information, said, as quoted by state-run news agency Antara.

The Malaysian cabinet announced during the commemoration of World Day Against the Death Penalty on Oct. 10 that it had decided to abolish capital punishment and halt pending executions in the country, three months after imposing a moratorium on this form of punishment.

The Malaysian parliament is set to discuss the bill soon.

Charles said Indonesia's legal system was still far from perfect and that mistakes were still likely to occur.

"The death penalty does not have a deterrent effect on criminals," he said, referring to drug kingpin Freddy Budiman, who reportedly continued with his illegal activities while on death row.

Amnesty International Indonesia said Charles could formalize his views in the House and turn it into an initiative to begin the process of changing the law.

"If in Malaysia the initiative came from the government, then in Indonesia it could be the other way around. Commission I could initiate the abolition of the death penalty for all crimes," Amnesty International Indonesia executive director, Usman Hamid, said in a statement received by the Jakarta Globe.

Usman said the move would give Indonesia a moral standing in its efforts to free its citizens facing capital punishment abroad.

Indonesia has been an active enforcer of the death penalty, mainly executing drug convicts.

During the 27th session of the United Nations Universal Periodic Review, Indonesia said the death penalty was still a prevailing positive law in the country.

However, there were no executions in the country last year, and President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo indicated that he would consider a moratorium on capital punishment.

Despite the draconian law, the country has been active in its efforts to save its own citizens from cruel and unusual punishments abroad.

Nongovernmental organization Migrant Care said more than a hundred Indonesian migrant workers would be spared if the Malaysian parliament approves the bill.

"Abolishing the death penalty does not equal removing punishment for the crime. It is an effort to put an end to a cruel punishment that violates human rights. Criminals should still be punished if they are proven guilty in a court of law, without having to resort to the death penalty," Usman said.

More than a 100 countries have already abolished the death penalty.

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