Some time back you might have heard this Malaysian lawyer, N Surendran, who has had beef with Singapore law – mainly on our death penalty.
Why? Because of Pannir Selvam:
Pannir was found guilty of carrying 51.84g of heroin at the Woodlands Checkpoint in Sep 2014.
He was then granted a stay of execution a day before he was due to be executed, and was told of the rejection of his clemency plea and scheduled date of execution a week before his execution.
Surendran then pointed out “considerable flaws” in the process of Pannir’s case, namely the dating of the letters from the President and prison authorities.
He was also not happy that the Attorney General in Singapore did not grant Pannir the certificate of substantive evidence (i.e. to prove that Pannir had cooperated with the state and provided evidence to stop drug trafficking activities).
He added that there was widespread support for Pannir in Malaysia, including by the Malaysia Cabinet.
In response to Pannir’s case, Law and Home Affairs Minister Shanmugam said that his Malaysian counterpart Liew Vui Keong has written to Senior Minister of State for Law Edwin Tong.
Minister Shanmugam said that “it is not tenable to give a special moratorium for Malaysians and impose it on everyone else, including Singaporeans who commit offences which carry the death penalty” – i.e. Singapore cannot make exceptions for Malaysians who have been sentenced to death for their offences – simply because it would undermine the laws in Singapore.
He also said that the Singapore Government will not intervene when there are no legal reasons to do so, and when the courts have already imposed a sentence.
However, Surendran is not about to give up.
Lawyers for Liberty (which Surendran co-founded) put up a statement saying that the AGC made “unacceptable threats” against Surendran.
They claimed that this is an unlawful interference by Singapore and calculated attempt to sabotage Pannir’s legal team, as well as hindering legal assistance from Malaysia for the other Malaysian prisoners.
AGC has rejected the claim – they did not write a letter to Surendran. AGC wrote to the court with reasons for objecting to requests made by Mr Pannir Selvam’s Singapore lawyers to the court on July 8 and 10.
Malaysia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Saifuddin Abdullah told Lawyers for Liberty today to formally register their allegation of a threat by Singapore against a lawyer acting for five Malaysians facing death sentences in the republic for drug offences.
(Not sure if they did. Also, interference, really? The irony. Cough.)
Surendran has now said that Singapore is targeting Malaysians for execution.
He was urging the Singapore Government to stop practising “double standards” against Malaysians and to stop “targeting” Malaysians, at a protest outside Singapore High Commission in KL.
He was also quoted as saying that there is a bloodbath in Singapore’s prison to Sydney Morning Herald:
“We at Lawyers for Liberty believe that more than 13 people have had their applications for clemency rejected. Our earlier estimate was 10 people. This means that the sword of Damocles is hanging over the heads of all these people and their families. We could be facing nothing less than a bloodbath soon, a factory-style hanging of up to 13 people at one time, which hasn’t happened since the 1960s or 1970s. Up until now, though, no date has been set.”
Bruh, we’re not so sure why he thinks that Singapore is targeting Malaysians for executions.
Singapore has always been very consistent in our application of laws, and those on drugs, i.e.death penalty. You are specifically warned about those drug offences when you come into Singapore. Heck, even the angmohs are scared when they come here cause they know we are a damn fine city. If you committed an offence, you will have to pay — regardless of what country you are from. Remember the infamous Michael Fay case — AMDK also tio cane.
To be honest, we are not sure why he is so insistent on trying to influence and muck up our judicial system and laws here.
We just wanted to point out that Malaysia recently backpedalled on its decision on wanting to completely abolish death penalty for all offences. Which means that Malaysia still has the death penalty. The change is that it will now leave to the courts to decide if an individual convicted of serious crime should be hanged.
We think that will probably be more effective for these Lawyers for Liberty folks to put in their efforts in trying to lobby and convince their own Government on completely abolishing the death penalty, than trying to convince the Singapore Government and Singaporeans.