Capital punishment in Malaysia

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Capital punishment in Malaysia is a legal form of punishment. It is a mandatory punishment for murder, drug trafficking, treason, and waging war against Yang di-Pertuan Agong (the King). Recently, the law has been extended to include acts of terrorism. Any terrorists, and anyone who aids terrorists, financially or otherwise, are liable to face the death penalty. Since January 2003, the death penalty in Malaysia has been a mandatory punishment for rapists that cause death and child rapists. A 1961 law states that kidnapping carries a life sentence or a death sentence, perceeded by a whipping. Foreigners are not exempt from the death penalty.

Only High Courts have the jurisdiction to sentence someone to death. Juvenile cases involving the death penalty are heard in High Courts instead of the juvenile court where other juvenile cases are heard. Appeals to the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court are automatic. The last resort for the convicted is to plead pardon for clemency. Pardons or clemency are granted by the Ruler or Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor) of the state where the crime is committed or the Yang di-Pertuan Agong if the crime is committed in the Federal Territories or when involving members of the armed forces. Death sentences are carried out by hanging as provided in Section 281 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Pregnant women and children may not be sentenced to death.

Between 1970 and 2001, Malaysia executed 359 people. As of 2006, 159 people remain on death row.

Statutory provisions[edit]

The following is a list of the criminal offenses that carry the death penalty:

  • Waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong - Section 121 Penal Code (see: Al-Ma'unah)
  • Offences against the person of a Ruler[1] - Section 121A Penal Code
  • Abetting mutiny (Armed Forces) - Section 132 Penal Code
  • Murder - Section 302 Penal Code (mandatory) (see: Mona Fandey)
  • Abetment of suicide[2] - Section 306 Penal Code
  • Attempt by life convict to murder, if hurt is caused - Section 307(c) Penal Code (mandatory)
  • Kidnapping or abducting in order to murder - Section 364 Penal Code
  • Hostage taking - Section 374A Penal Code (see: Pudu Prison siege)
  • Gang robbery with murder - Section 396 Penal Code
  • Drug trafficking - Section 39B Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 (mandatory) (see: Barlow and Chambers execution)
  • Possession of firearms - Section 57 Internal Security Act 1960 (see: Botak Chin)


  1. ^ including the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan, Yamtuan Besar, Raja and Yang di-Pertua Negeri.
  2. ^ when suicide committed by a child, insane or delirious person, an idiot, or intoxicated person.