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Malaysia: Capital Punishment

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 23rd October 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Gethins Stephen Gethins Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Malaysian counterpart on the (a) consistency with international human rights laws and conventions and (b) application to people on death row of alternative sentences to the mandatory death penalty in that country.

Photo of Heather Wheeler Heather Wheeler The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

We have been supporting the Malaysian Government's ambitions to ratify UN instruments on human rights, reform security legislation and abolish the death penalty. The former Foreign Secretary the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt discussed our support for human rights reforms in Malaysia, including on the death penalty with his counterpart Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah during his visit to Kuala Lumpur 3-4 January.

We welcomed the Malaysian Government's announcement, in October 2018, of its plan to abolish the death penalty. The former Minister for Asia and the Pacific, the Rt Hon Mark Field MP, urged early progress during his visit to Malaysia that month.

The abolition bill has been postponed until the next sitting of the Malaysian Parliament. We have been using every opportunity to encourage Malaysia to pass it as soon as possible.

It is a longstanding policy of the British Government to oppose the death penalty, in all circumstances, as a matter of principle. The Malaysian Government is fully aware of our position and we continue to raise our objection to capital punishment at the highest levels.

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