What about our feelings? Kin of murder victims lashes out at death penalty repeal

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Tan Siew Lin, mother of Annie Kok Yin Cheng, holds back tears as she speaks during a news conference at the Legal Affairs Division of the Prime Minister's Department in Putrajaya January 14, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Tan Siew Lin, mother of Annie Kok Yin Cheng, holds back tears as she speaks during a conference at the Legal Affairs Division of the ’s Department in Putrajaya January 14, 2020. — by Yusof Isa

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 14 — Several members of victims have accused Putrajaya today of purportedly being insensitive towards their feelings with its move to abolish the .

They claimed that justice not be served as as killers are allowed to walk free, while others use loopholes in the system to avoid the gallows.

“We used to celebrate her birthday together on the sixth on June every year. she’s dead but the is considering abolishing the penalty.

“How is this fair? If he is loose I will find him or someone to find him and shoot him dead,” said Tan Siew Lin, referring to her late teen Annie Kok Yin Cheng, who was murdered and raped in 2009.

“For is no closure as long as we know these are out free or that there is a for them to escape the death penalty,” she added.

Tan said she tried handing over a memorandum with 97,000 signatures from those opposing the abolition of the death penalty to lawmakers last year. She claimed she was refused entry into the Parliament.

A guest must be accompanied by an to enter the Parliament.

“The government doesn’t understand our . If it abolishes it, we will make noise,” added Tan, whose daughter’s killer, Rabidin Satir, is currently awaiting on several charges of and .

Representatives and family members of murder victims who refuse to accept the abolishment of the death penalty pose for a group photo in Putrajaya January 14, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Representatives and family members of murder victims who refuse to accept the abolishment of the death penalty for a group in Putrajaya January 14, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Today, family members and representatives of the alleged murder victims — Datuk Morias, Datuk Sosilawati Lawita, Wong Jing Kui, Chee Gaik Yap, Annie, Muhammad Hafiz Indris, and Nurulhanim Idris — attended a meeting with a Parliamentary Select Committee to plead against the repeal of the death penalty.

members said they felt the committee has already made up their to abolish the death penalty, and the meeting was just a formality.

“They asked us, if the death penalty is imposed and the perpetrator is killed, will that bring your loved ones’ back to and will it really make us happy?

“I feel this is a silly question,” said Mansur Ibrahim, representing the family of toddlers Hafiz and Nurulhanim.

Mansur said who have removed the death penalty are now bringing it back as there has been an uptick in , but did not provide any examples to back his claim.

Out of 195 members of , only 55 countries still retain the death penalty.

“Seems as though they’ already set their to abolish . We just met them as a formality,” said Ong Yeow Fooi, representing Morais and Sosilawati.

Another , Tan Sri Robert Phang, claimed that could be a haven for criminal activity if capital punishment is abolished. He also did not provide any proof to back his claim.

“If the demands it, then a referendum should be made to not abolish the death penalty,” Phang said.

Tan Siew Lin (left) holds up news clippings of her daughter Annie Kok Yin Cheng as she speaks during a news conference at the Legal Affairs Division of the Prime Minister's Department in Putrajaya January 14, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Tan Siew Lin (left) holds up news clippings of her daughter Annie Kok Yin Cheng as she speaks during a news conference at the Legal Affairs Division of the ’s Department in Putrajaya January 14, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

At the meeting today, the select committee was represented by Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, Tan Sri Zahrah Ibrahim, Datin Paduka Sri Zauyah Be, Datuk Mah Weng Kwai and Dr Nini Dusuki.

The Pakatan Harapan government made a decision on December 2018 by in favour of a United Nations resolution for member states that still retains the death penalty to establish a moratorium on executions with a to abolishing this punishment.

Two months after being voted into power in May 2018, the government ordered in July that year a suspension of all pending death sentences. , it has since demurred on total abolition of the capital punishment.

The Cabinet has been mulling three options: total abolition of the death penalty; or making the death penalty non-mandatory for such as murder; or giving full discretion during sentencing for those convicted under Section 39B of the Dangerous .

The abolition is expected to be tabled in the Parliament in March.



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