In October 2018—just months after Malaysians voted out the coalition that had been in power since 1957—Liew Vui Keong, the new head of the Legal Affairs Division in the Prime Minister’s Department, announced that the death penalty would be completely abolished for all offences in the country.

In January 2019, at an emotional meeting with families of death row inmates, he said, “I believe that if you believe killing is wrong, then you cannot support the government doing it.”

But pro-death penalty voices—including opposition party members, former police chiefs, and lawyers—have emerged. Public outrage over violent crimes such as the death of a nine-month-old baby as a result of rape and abuse, allegedly by the child’s caregiver’s husband, has also fuelled such views.

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Emily Ding

Emily Ding is a freelance writer, journalist, and editor based in Kuala Lumpur and Berlin. She tells stories about travel and cultures, social justice and human rights, and the legacies of war. (www.emilyding.me)

Charis Loke

Charis is an illustrator based in Penang, Malaysia. Drawing upon literature and visual culture, she makes pictures that evoke wonder and curiosity. As a member of Arts-ED, she also works on community arts and culture education programmes for youth. Her work can be found at http://charisloke.com.

Charis is Comics Editor and Illustrations Editor for New Naratif. Reach her at charis.loke@newnaratif.com

Ellena Ekarahendy

Ellena is a visual communication designer based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Her creative works are integrations between design-thinking and economic, sociopolitical, and cultural discourses. Her works can be found at https://ellenae.work. She's New Naratif’s Art and Design Manager. Reach her at ellena.ekarahendy@newnaratif.com.