KUALA LUMPUR: An overwhelming 82 per cent of netizens opposed the government’s move to axe the death penalty, as polled by Berita Harian Online, Harian Metro and the New Straits Times Online.
The stance of 22,000 Facebook and Twitter users was made clear in the online poll which opened yesterday.
Only 18 per cent of respondents backed the Cabinet’s bid to do away with mandatory death penalty in cases like murder and drug-trafficking.
Student Nur Disyah Aminuddin disagreed with the bid to abolish the death sentence as it could lead to more crimes.
“Why must we keep criminals in jail? Their upkeep is borne by the people. If there is no death sentence, then criminals would no longer be afraid and this would lead to a crime wave,” she said.
Sharing the same sentiment, respondent Mohd Adam cautioned that such abolition would be a greenlight for criminals to cast aside fear of the law.
“If the death penalty is abolished, it will be a signal for criminals not to be afraid of the law.
“All (convicted criminals) will escape (the death sentence) for serious offences like vicious murders, robberies that end up in murders, and drug-trafficking,” he said.
For David Lee, he opined that the government should instead allow the imposition of the death penalty on a case-to-case basis.
“There are many cases of murderers and rapists lacking in humanity who deserve deterrent punishment.
“The death penalty will also be justice for the victims’ families,” he said.
Respondent Nik Azman said that instead of doing away with the death sentence, the government should instead show its seriousness in combating corruption by increasing penalties for graft cases.
Respondents Sulaiman Jamin, Ron Guiza and Gnera Nineleven even suggested that Islamic Hudud-style punishments be implemented in Malaysia.
However, respondent and student Joon Hoe Tan threw his support behind the Cabinet’s move as many countries no longer imposed the death penalty.
“The death sentence does not cut down crime. Life imprisonment is an opportunity for offenders to repent,” he said.
Respondents Anne Axry and Faizatul Hanim Afandi said there were many alternative ways to penalise criminals and imposing the death penalty was akin to infringing on the domain of God.