“How is this fair? If he is let loose I will find him or ask someone to find him and shoot him dead,” said Tan Siew Lin, referring to her late teen daughter Annie Kok Yin Cheng, who was murdered and raped in 2009.
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 MP to enter the Parliament.
“The government doesn’t understand our pain. If it abolishes it, we will make noise,” added Tan, whose daughter’s killer, Rabidin Satir, is currently awaiting trial on several charges of rape and theft.
Today, family members and representatives of the alleged murder victims — Datuk Kevin Morias, Datuk Sosilawati Lawita, Stephen Wong Jing Kui, Chee Gaik Yap, Annie, Muhammad Hafiz Indris, and Nurulhanim Idris — attended a meeting with a Parliamentary Select Committee here to plead against the repeal of the death penalty.
“They asked us, if the death penalty is imposed and the perpetrator is killed, will that bring your loved ones’ back to life 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.
Out of 195 members of United Nations, only 55 countries still retain the death penalty.
“If the public demands it, then a referendum should be made to not abolish the death penalty,” Phang said.
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 Farah Nini Dusuki.
The Pakatan Harapan government made a historic decision on December 2018 by voting in favour of a United Nations resolution for member states that still retains the death penalty to establish a moratorium on executions with a view 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. However, 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 crimes such as murder; or giving judges full discretion during sentencing for those convicted under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act.
The abolition is expected to be tabled in the Parliament in March.