Executions in Malaysia

Here is some information about executions in Malaysia.

The death penalty can be handed down for 33 offences in Malaysia and it is mandatory for 12 of these of which drug trafficking offences are the most common and the most controversial.

'Condemned Prisoners Death Room' - Pudu Jail, Kuala Lumpur (since demolished)

According to Amnesty International’s statistics* there were 1,281 people on death row as at February 2019 of whom 73% were found guilty of drug related offences. By gender, 89% were men. 568 of these prisoners were foreign nationals, of which the main nationalities were Nigerian (21%), Indonesian (16%), Iranian (15%), Indian (10%), Filipino (8%) and Thai (6%).

Twelve executions have been carried out since 2010 with the four most recent being in 2017 according to Amnesty International.

Hangman's Noose - Melaka Jail Museum

Having been under some pressure for many years to follow the world trend to abolish the death penalty the government announced in 2018 that it would scrap the mandatory death sentence for 11 offences and a moratorium on executions was implemented in July 2018. However many Malaysians are still in favour of retaining the death penalty.

The method of execution is hanging. Those on death row can languish for up to eleven years before the sentence is carried out.

Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here - Pudu Jail (since demolished)

The retired former chief hangman gave an interview to the press in 2016 in which he revealed that he had conducted over 130 hangings in five Malaysian jails during his career, of which 70 were performed by him personally and another 60 under his supervision. He said that executions always take place at dawn while the jail is quiet and the condemned prisoner is rested. Sometimes it is all over ten seconds after the prisoner enters the execution chamber. The prisoner is given only 24 hours notice before they are hanged. They can be visited by their relatives during that final day.

* Amnesty International Report, 'Fatally Flawed: Why Malaysia Must Abolish The Death Penalty' dated 10 October 2019


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