End the Mandatory Death Penalty


On 27 March 2023, two bills – the Abolition of Mandatory Death Penalty Bill 2023 and the Revision of Sentence of Death and Imprisonment for Natural Life (Temporary Jurisdiction of the Federal Court) Bill 2023 – were tabled in Parliament to abolish the mandatory death penalty and give judges discretion on sentencing, remove imprisonment for life until natural death as an alternative punishment, and grant the possibility to all those on death row to benefit from the reform.  

We welcome the tabling of these bills as an important step toward the full abolition of the death penalty, which is the ultimate cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment. We urge the Members of Parliament and the Senate to:  

  • lend their support to both bills, to seize this historic opportunity to end the use of the mandatory death penalty as an important step towards full abolition;    
  • ensure that any resentencing process is in line with international fair trial standards, including by ensuring that those applying for review have adequate time, resources such as language support, and access to legal representation, and by guaranteeing their right to appeal the decision;  
  • reject whipping – which is prohibited under international law – and other alternative punishments that contravene the prohibition against torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; and  
  • maintain the moratorium on all executions until the death penalty is fully abolished in Malaysia and all death sentences are commuted.  

The tabling of these bills represents a unique opportunity for Malaysia to make significant advances towards full abolition. Your urgent action is needed to strongly encourage our government representatives to ensure the abolition of the mandatory death penalty now, and that we join, in the future, the majority of countries that have fully abolished the death penalty. 

Click here to read a comprehensive analysis of the bills tabled on 27 March 2023.

Click here to learn more about the use of the death penalty in Malaysia. 


(AS OF 29 MARCH 2023)