This website is an archive of the work of Marietje Schaake in the European Parliament between 2009 and 2019. Marietje can be reached at

Plenary speech on Malaysia, the practice of caning

Marietje Schaake – Mr President, the practice of caning – the hitting of a person with a cane – is a form of corporal punishment that is often applied in Malaysia and this is a reason for concern, because tens of thousands of people are subject to this kind of punishment, particularly immigrants, and the list of offences that can lead to caning is growing. Malaysia is thus violating its commitment to Resolution 8/8 of the UN Human Rights Council, which states that corporal punishment can be tantamount to torture. The legal process leading to this form of punishment is often lacking and immigrants are not being informed about the charges against them, or are being denied the right of access to legal counsel. We welcome the outspoken call by the Malaysian Bar Association – which represents 8 000 lawyers – for the abolition of caning. The European Parliament calls on the Malaysian authorities to enact a moratorium on caning and all other forms of corporal punishment, while working on the abolishment of this law in letter and in practice. The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia and the Malaysian Law Reform Committee should make adequate recommendations to the government concerning the abolition of corporal punishment laws.