Wednesday, October 31, 2007

DEATH PENALTY-MALAYSIA: Sane Voices Amidst Hysteria

By Baradan Kuppusamy

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 (IPS) - In a small dingy community meeting room in Taman Kosas, a depressed working class suburb north of the city of factory workers and petty traders, Rohana Bakar, a 36-year-old mother of two girls, is trying hard to keep her ground.

Bakar tries to explain again but is greeted with cries of scorn and anger. About 30 women, some single mothers, and a dozen children, pack the room.

"We can’t save our kids by hanging the culprits. The death penalty is not the solution. The death penalty has been around for 50 years and but crime cases have soared," she persists in fluent Malay, clutching her six-year-old daughter.

"We must protect our children and teach them to protect themselves, but killing culprits is not going to save out children," she adds in desperation, pleading for support.

The reason they have come together is apparent from a glance at the front pages of the newspapers strewn on the floor. A killer, who it is believed has so far abducted and sexually abused three girls, murdering one of them, is still at large and the mothers are angry and frightened.

"This monster raped, abused and killed Nurin ... he must hang for the heinous crimes," one mother says, pointing to the newspapers on the floor. "We have to protect our kids from this monster ... only death for him will do."

Just as in that fear-filled room, everywhere in the country the debate is raging over how to deal with the gruesome death of nine-year-old Nurin Jazlin abducted in August and held for nearly a month, sexually abused and eventually murdered.

Her body was stuffed in a gym bag and left by a staircase in Petaling Jaya, a suburb south of the city, late September.

Outrage over Nurin’s death has been sharpened because a video camera mounted in the street caught a man on a motorcycle with a bag.

He was filmed leaving the bag with Nurin's body beside a staircase.

But the recording, although taken to the U.S. and enhanced by the FBI, is not clear enough to identify the culprit or his vehicle registration number.

Police have up to now drawn blanks, arresting several "suspects" and releasing them later. The public mood is for vengeance and a swift execution when the killer is eventually brought to justice.

A few lone voices like Bakar are speaking up to argue that the death penalty is a cruel, state-sanctioned public killing that does not solve or remove gangsters and criminals from the streets.

"We are outraged by the brutal murder. This is a disgusting and terrifying crime and a sad reflection of how unsafe our country has become for girls and (the) young," said Shanon Shah Sidik, executive director of Amnesty International in Malaysia.

"Public outrage in this matter is understandable but calls for the death penalty to be applied are misplaced.

"Countless men and women have been executed worldwide for crimes of murder and sexual violence yet there is no convincing evidence that the death penalty is a deterrent.

"The nation mourns Nurin Jazlin. Let us never have to mourn another girl in these circumstances ever again," he argued.

But such words only invite more expression of public outrage.

People are writing to newspapers and calling up television and radio stations to say that "monsters" who kill children should be swiftly led away to their execution.

"Criminals who committed sexual crimes and murder should be given the death penalty," writes S. K. Mathews, a member of the public, in a letter to Malaysiakini.com, an independent online news provider.

"These monsters do not deserve to be among us in society," he continues, reflecting widely held public views. "The death penalty should remain."

Rising violent crime is fuelling demands for tough measures against criminals and many see the death penalty as the cure for all ills.

"The public are angry and upset because nearly nine women are raped every day and many see the death penalty as a quick solution," says opposition leader Lim Guan Eng.

"We must not rush to condemn," he says, advocating studies to determine the root causes of rising crime.

"There is no one-solution-fits-all here," he says, adding that the experience of other countries showed that crime was a complex issue and needed to be treated professionally.

In the first seven months of this year, there were 1,814 cases of rape compared to 1,362 during the corresponding period last year – an increase of 33 percent, according to official statistics.

But there were five times as many unreported rape cases, making Malaysia the "crime capital" of Southeast Asia, Lim says.

Malaysia imposes the death penalty for a raft of crimes from murder to drug trafficking (of more than 200 grams), terrorism and even poisoning of the water supply. Between 1960 and October 2004, there were 434 executions, according to the last available statistics.

"Malaysia should not execute, should not carry out state killing no matter what the crime," said human rights lawyer Charles Hector. "There is simply no justification for the state to kill."

The Malaysian Bar, which represents 13,000 lawyers, passed a resolution in 2006, urging Malaysia to emulate the Philippines, a fellow member of the ASEAN regional grouping, to abolish the death penalty.

"At the very least it can declare a moratorium with a view to abolishing the death penalty," Hector told IPS.

Human rights lawyer and executive director of Malaysians Against Death Penalty, MADPET, Surendran Nagarajan said the organisation recognized the "seriousness of violent crime and the extreme suffering it causes to victims and their families," but it was totally against the death penalty.

"It is a cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment," he told IPS. "There is possibility of judicial errors and the innocent would be killed."

He blamed politicians for the current hysteria among the public for the retention and use of the death penalty.

"This is the usual knee-jerk reaction fuelled by politicians who are exploiting public fear and revulsion at crimes against children," Nagarajan said. "We should not fall for this manufactured hysteria."

- IPS

18 comments:

Zulkifli said...

We are outraged by the brutal murder. This is a disgusting and terrifying crime and a sad reflection of how unsafe our country has become for girls and (the) young," said Shanon Shah Sidik, executive director of Amnesty International in Malaysia.

"Public outrage in this matter is understandable but calls for the death penalty to be applied are misplaced.

"Countless men and women have been executed worldwide for crimes of murder and sexual violence yet there is no convincing evidence that the death penalty is a deterrent.

"The nation mourns Nurin Jazlin. Let us never have to mourn another girl in these circumstances ever again," he argued.

comment dia orang ni aku rasa lemah...sebab apa bunuh balas bunuh...hukuman bunuh tak berkesan sebab buat kat dalam tembok besi...siapa pun tak takut...begitu juga dengan hukuman sebat....kalau buat kat dalam penjara tak siapa takut...

cuba buat kat khalayak ramai...
kita tak nak cuba inilah jadinya...belum cuba dah kritik...undang undang peninggalan barat ni dah tak leh pakai lagi dah...

katalah pembunuh Nurin dapat ditangkap dibicarakan dan dihukum bunuh...hukuman tu dibuat depan khalayak ramai...gerenti penjenayah atau orang cuba buat jenayah akan takut...begitu juga sebat di khalayak ramai...gerenti ramai yang insaf...asyik banding dengan US, Dengan England...cuba banding dengan Arab Saudi dan Iran...crime rate dia orang rendah tanyalah mereka kenapa....

Lang said...

Assalamualaikum, salam sejahtera..

Lang dah buntu memikirkan kenapa ade puak-puak yang mengade2 mintak mansuhkan hukuman mati. Alasan mereka yg memperjuangkan cadangan ni mudah aje. mereka suruh masyarakat pikirkan naseb waris si pesalah selepas digantung sampai mati. Tambahnye lagi.. kesian anak2, isteri2 yang ditinggalkan. Ibubapa sipesalah hilang tempat bergantung.. Itu lah modal yang sering dilaung2kan kepada masyarakat.

Tapi yang peliknye puak2 ni bukannye ahli keluarga sipesalah.

Kenapa puak2 ni tidak berfikir sejenak tentang nasib keluarga simangsa yang hilang segalanya, tentang maslahat umum, masyarakat semakin takut.

Agaknye tak terkena batang idung sendiri kot. Sebab itu mulutnya gatal memperjuangkan yang bukan2.

-Lang teringat hukum adat pepatih, darah balas darah, nyawa balas nyawa, malu balas malu, kehormatan balas kehormatan.-

RULZA said...

yes i am totally agree....hukum di khalayak ramai..allah dah kata hudud tu sesuai sepanjang zaman....takde salahnya kalau buat di depan semua org tgk...mestilah dalam pemikiran dan kekuasaan allah yang maha bijaksana tu dah tertulis hikmah dan rahmat hukum hudud tu dijalankan dikhalayak....
cuba pikiola..ni sibuk dok kata makan sup nilah sup tulah...hempok ngan batu baru tau....!!!

tapi sokong hukuman di khalayak tu wajar....biar org yang tgk betul-betul mengambil iktibar dan mudahan2 org jahat yang len datang insaf lam hati....
betul tu...

Lang said...

Renungan

Bukankah Allah maha pencipta. Hukum yang Allah cipta adalah hukum yang paling tersempurna merangkumi segala isi alam.

Janganlah kita ambil sebahagian (kerana kita suka hukum itu) dan meninggalkan sebahagian yang lain (kerana tidak sesuai dengan nafsu kita). Nescaya kucar kacir lah dunia ini (jenayah & maksiat bermaharajalela).

Wallahua'lam

Zulkifli said...

entah ler dia orang ni ...dia fikir kebajikan penjenayah tu buat apa...habis keluarga mangsa macam mana...atleast dengan kematian penjenayah tu keluarga mereka tidak lagi malu di kaitkan dengan penjenayah tu...

mereka fikir dengan "membetulkan" penjenayah dengan cara simpati ini boleh menyelamatkan dunia...?


fikirlah banyak buruknya membela penjenayah sadis ni..tak ada gunanya... menyusahkan jer...dengan hukuman mati dan sebat di khalayak ramai sahaja boleh mengurangkan kes kes jenayah...cuba la dulu....kita dah 50 tahun merdeka...kita kena fikir hukuman alternatif yang boleh hapuskan jenayah...

benharperbenladen said...

bila la hukum hudud ni nak jadi reality ye...*sigh

Tehsin Mukhtar said...

((Human rights lawyer and executive director of Malaysians Against Death Penalty, MADPET, Surendran Nagarajan said the organisation recognized the "seriousness of violent crime and the extreme suffering it causes to victims and their families," but it was totally against the death penalty.

"It is a cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment," he told IPS. "There is possibility of judicial errors and the innocent would be killed."

He blamed politicians for the current hysteria among the public for the retention and use of the death penalty.

"This is the usual knee-jerk reaction fuelled by politicians who are exploiting public fear and revulsion at crimes against children," Nagarajan said. "We should not fall for this manufactured hysteria."))

Manufactured hysteria???? Knee jerk reaction??? And which politician has called for the death penalty???As far as I know, they are still partying with the rakyat's money, too inebriated to notice.

Ok, maybe in some ways he is right. we should instead call for capital punishment (after a fair trial, of course, in a real court, not the kangaroo kind) for politicians and those in power who have failed in their duty to provide adequate policing, adequate laws and adequate enforcement where it counts.In other words, gross negligence and blatant disregard for the state of the nation and its people, leading to a state of perpetual fear for the lowly rakyat.

Or maybe we should just parade them in public...sans Gucci and Armani.

RULZA said...

"Lang teringat hukum adat pepatih, darah balas darah, nyawa balas nyawa, malu balas malu, kehormatan balas kehormatan.-"


Wahai orang-orang yang beriman, diwajibkan kamu menjalankan hukuman qisas (balasan yang seimbang) dalam perkara orang-orang yang mati dibunuh." (Al-Baqarah :178)

bukan saja adat pepatih..islam dah sebut pasa qisas/hudud ni...balas balik dengan setimpal....dalam alquran pun dah kata wajib...

memanglah boleh dilaksanakan hukum takzir iaitu ikut undang2 yang di tetapkan pemimpin tapi kalau hukuman takzir yang dijalankan tak beri apa-apa kesan atau perubahan wajib dilaksanakan hudud...

semoga kita semua mendapat hidayah....

joesniper said...

aku berpendapat kalau hudud seperti qisas dilaksanakan sejak azali lagi kes macam ni boleh dicegah, memanglah "one-solution cant fits all" tetapi mencegah lebih baik dari mengubati.

sekiranya hukum rejam, sebat, pancung, potong tangan dilaksana dikhalayak ramai ia akan memberi impak kepada seluruh masyarakat dari semua peringkat supaya ingat akan Allah.

ada pulak yang kata nanti hari2 ada orang potong tangan, depa tu tak kaji ka sistem hudud tu, jika mencuri kalau pelakunya sewaktu dengan bapa Rekha, contohnya, tak kena kepada dia hukum tu sebaliknya kena kepada pemerintah spt ADUN kawasanya, pegawai spt JKM, PBT, masyarakat setempat dll yang bertanggungjawab dan menjadi punca berlaku perbuatan mencuri olehnya .

lagi pun dalam adat Melayu pepatah ada berkata "kalau nak melentur buluh biarlah dari rebung" jadi jika hukuman2 yang disyor didalam Islam dipertonton kepada rakyat jelata sejak dari kita masih kecil, tentu akan terkesan hingga ke dewasa dan budaya akan memastikan undang2 ini disampaikan dari generasi kepada generasi yang berikutnya yang secara langsung mendidik generasi akan datang agar tidak melakukan jenayah dan sentiasa beriman kepada Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala.

wallahu a'lam bi sawab.

Siberkop said...

Masalah sebenar yang berlaku adalah sikap 'tidak peduli' orang-orang yang menentang hukuman bunuh ini.

'Tidak peduli' kepada apa yang dirasai oleh keluarga mangsa.

'Tidak peduli' kepada apa yang dirasai oleh mangsa.

'Tidak peduli' kepada apa yang sebenarnya ditakutkan oleh masyarakat sekeliling.

Apa yang mereka peduli hanyalah peluang untuk hidup sehingga seribu tahun lagi dan tidak pernah nampak penyelesaian yang lebih dari garisan tersebut.

Zulkifli said...

saya ada satu perkataan yang sesuai untuk orang yang kata hukuman bunuh tak patut dijalankan

(selepas perbicaraan yang adil dan bukti yang kukuh, sebab dalam jenayah Islam hukuman bunuh dapat di jalankan bila bukti di tahap "yakin" dibandingkan undang sivil tahap "beyond reasonable doubt" iaitu dibawah tahap keraguan yang munasabah)ialah "BODOH".

saya rasa polis dan pihak berkuasa yang lain pun tak nak bela penjenayah penjenayah tegar ni lama lama

izsahani said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
izsahani said...

tak nak hukuman bunuh untuk penjenayah seksual sebab kesiankan mak bapak anak bini penjenayah tu??
*kuk* hang letak otak kat kepala ka kat lutut??

pedulik hapa kat mak bapak anak bini depa (sorry terkasar bahasa)? bukannya nak salahkan keluarganya tapi penjenayah tu...so nak biar dia cari mangsa baru lah ye?

aku ingat lagi filem omputih lakonan Tom Hanks, tajuk nyer "Green Mile". Saper belum tengok, ha...pi beli CD (ori ye, kang org kata aku sokong cetak rompak lak). Tak dak DVD player, beli bukunya, tulisan Stephen King dengan tajuk yang sama. Kisah seorang banduan yang bakal dijalankan hukuman mati electric chair. Point aku dalam filem tu, bila hukuman dijalankan, penjenayah tu berada di dalam sebuah bilik kaca dan disebalik kaca, penonton2 terdiri dari mak bapak anak bini adik beradik dia, kengkawan dia dan pegawai atasan polis dan penjara termasuk keluarga2 mangsanya. Patut Malaysia buat cam tu gak...bila hukuman bunuh dijalankan, bagi mak bapak anak bini adik beradik semua tengok untuk dijadikan iktibar. Jadi sesiapa yang cita2 nak jadi penjenayah seksual, akan terpikir 10 kali sebab nanti mati depan orang2 tersayang.

nazura said...

ZUL, sorry to say. Tu lah sebab acik cakap Malaysia in criminal friendly, rapist friendly..friendly tak bertempat. Pandai lagu mana macam ni. Acik dah cakap..ko gantung di kat dalam tu sapa yang tau. Sapa yang tengok. Apa pengajaran yang orang kat luar jail ini dapat??? Cakap bodoh marah.. tapi memang absolute bodoh benak betullah. Aku dah cakap NGO ni mesti buat perangai punya...
Sama macam Aids..orang pesan jangan berzina..ini tak jangan bertukar-tukar pasangan, pakailah condom.Ada pulak budak Islam rajin distribut kondom free kat bandar..amenda ni.Woi mabuk ke apa. Nyemak jalah NGO ni pun.
Apa kata.. kalo ko sayang sangat kat orang jahat tu..NGO sekalian..ajak dia orang duduk rumah korang, bela anak korang.Kalau dia rogol anak ko..ko diam je lah. Boleh..kalau boleh ok..aku janji tak comment dah.

nazura said...

Peerah..must back to the root of the causes..Hang lah root of the causes nya. Hukum khalayak ramai that's the best solution. ALLAH yang buat ..DIA tahu lah..DIA Maha Mengetahui. Kita manusia..tau apa. Pangkat tinggi-tinggi pun bodoh jugak. Bijak sangat nak challenge hukum ALLAH.
Bar council pun kemain lagi. Benda tak masuk otak ni sibuk nak bela. Pasal video tape pun sibuk nak berarak. Kalau hal sangkut ngan depa over kemain. Yang hal rakyat jelata ni mampus hang lah..

Zulkifli said...

tu ler ada gak sibuk nak bela penjenayah dan institusi pelacuran..elok lah tu...

RULZA said...

salah satu hikmah hukum hudud tu adalah mengkifarah dosa org yang buat salah tu juga...sebab tu allah sediakan hukum qisas...


sekiranya berlaku bunuh, hukum qisas terhadap org salah tu terbatal dengan ampunan walinya.....


allah tu maha bijaksana dan maha luas pemikirannya...

RULZA said...

Allah maha adil kan....