23 May 2017
Two executions in Sungai Buloh Prison scheduled tomorrow
Yong Kar Mun is scheduled to face the noose tomorrow between 5am and 6am unless those with the power to halt the execution do so at the 11th hour.
Amnesty International Malaysia has also been made aware that a second man, on death row for murder for over 20 years, is also scheduled to be executed at the same time. No further details have been made available.
“Yong Kar Mun was informed just this morning that the execution will be carried out in less than 12 hours. His family has been to see him, and are terribly saddened that Yong would be executed. We are also very concerned that another execution appears to be set at the same time. When will the authorities end this secrecy?” Amnesty International Malaysia Executive Director Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu said.
Yong was mandatorily sentenced to death in 2009 under Section 3 of the Firearms Act (Increased Penalties) 1971 (Act 37) after being found guilty of armed robbery. The death penalty in Malaysia continues to be retained as the mandatory punishment for offences including drug trafficking, murder and discharge of firearms with intent to kill or harm in certain circumstances. The imposition of the mandatory death penalty is prohibited under international law, which also states that in countries where it has not yet been abolished, the imposition of the death penalty must be restricted to “the most serious crimes”, meaning intentional killing.
Amnesty International Malaysia understands that the Selangor Pardons Board had rejected Yong’s clemency application, however, the family was not made aware.
“What is happening to Yong Kar Mun and their family is truly shocking. It unconceivable that those directly affected by the death penalty are kept in the dark about the proceedings in their case. Without transparency, how can we ensure due process is followed, particularly when lives are at stake?”
Yong’s family saw him for the last time this morning after receiving a letter from the Sungai Buloh Prison authorities on Monday afternoon. Thereafter, they met with a prison officials who told them to buy Yong a set of new clothes, and to make arrangements for a caretaker to collect his body immediately after the execution.
“It is an unimaginable thought having to discuss the funeral of someone who is still alive. The family members are pleading for clemency now, that Yong be spared the death penalty. We join them in their calls, and hope that the Malaysian authorities will stop any executions that are to be carried out,” Shamini said.
Shamini said that the State should not be allowed to take away a person’s right to life no matter the crime, especially when the right to life of all persons is also enshrined in the Malaysian Constitution.
“The lack of transparency around executions in Malaysia is a violation of international law and standards.”
The government had previously announced reforms to the death penalty in 2015, 2016 and 2017, but these have yet to materialise.
“While reforms are being discussed, the Malaysian government must put a halt on executions immediately and confine the death penalty to the history books.”