Malaysia: Removal of certificate of assistance by prosecution welcomed, more effective death penalty reforms needed


In response to the announcement by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and de facto Law Minister Azalina Othman Said on 29 November that the government would suggest changes to its proposed amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act, 1952, Amnesty International Malaysia’s Acting Executive Director Gwen Lee said:

“Yesterday’s announcement that the Government will propose to remove the certificate of assistance by the prosecution as a requirement for sentencing discretion in cases of people convicted of transporting prohibited drugs is a welcome first step. But the Malaysian authorities need to do a lot more to improve a Bill that –as currently drafted- does little to bring Malaysia’s death penalty laws in line with international law and standards. It would still allow for the mandatory death penalty to be imposed in many other circumstances and the cruel punishment of whipping. This reform is a great opportunity to improve Malaysia’s human rights records-we call on the country’s authorities to seize it and swiftly act to address the wrongs, end executions and take Malaysia closer to ridding itself of the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment”.

Malaysia is among the minority of countries – 23 in 2016 – that still execute people and among the only seven countries where people were executed for drug-related offences last year, according to information gathered by Amnesty International. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty unconditionally and has published its concerns on the proposed measures in the document “Malaysia: Action needed to make death penalty bill meaningful opportunity for change”, available from:

Public Document


For more information or to arrange an interview, please call Amnesty International Malaysia’s office in Petaling Jaya, Selangor on:

+603 7955 2680 or

email: [email protected]

twitter & facebook: @AmnestyMy