Law minister: Stay of execution for Malaysian on death row in Singapore only temporary reprieve

G. Prakash
P. Pannir Selvam’s lawyers and family in front of Singapore’s Supreme Court May 23, 2019. — Picture courtesy of Latheefa Koya

KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 — De facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong said that while he is glad that Malaysian P. Pannir Selvam who was due to be executed today in Singapore has been granted a stay of execution, there is still much work to do.

“I am pleased to know of the stay of execution granted by the Singapore’s Court Of Appeal for Pannir, who was scheduled for hanging today.

“I was notified by the family of Pannir through the Lawyers For Liberty of Pannir’s impending execution on Tuesday and I took the liberty to liaise with our counterparts in Singapore with the blessings of our Foreign Office,” he said in a statement last night.

Liew said the stay of execution was just a temporary reprieve for Pannir and thanked the Lawyers in Liberty in Malaysia and Singapore for their untiring efforts.

“There’re much work to be done and tougher days ahead for all concerned. Let’s hope and pray that Pannir will be successful in his next court’s hearing in Singapore.”

“At the same time I also wish to appreciate all the relevant stakeholders in the matter,” he said.

Pannir, 32 was convicted on June 27, 2017 by the Singapore High Court of allegedly trafficking in 51.84g of diamorphine at the Woodlands Checkpoint on September 3, 2014 despite consistently pleading innocence.

In his application, Pannir had sought for a stay of his execution pending his challenge of both the clemency rejection and the Singapore attorney-general’s refusal to issue a certificate of assistance that would have commuted his death sentence to life imprisonment.

On May 21, Pannir’s sister Sangkari Pranthaman issued a statement on behalf of his family, appealing to the Malaysian government to urge the Singapore government to halt the execution scheduled for today.

In her statement, Sangkari said the family was stunned when they received a week ago both the notice of execution and the letter refusing clemency — with both documents dated the same day and arriving together.

“Obviously, this can’t be right, and Pannir was not given his chance for clemency under the Singapore laws,” she said, adding that Singapore’s public prosecutor also did not give Pannir the certificate of assistance that “can save his life” and that he was entitled to after he provided information to the authorities.

On May 21, Pannir’s family also submitted a “final clemency appeal” to Singapore president Halimah Yacob.

Pannir, 32 was convicted on June 27, 2017 by the Singapore High Court of allegedly trafficking in 51.84g of diamorphine at the Woodlands Checkpoint on September 3, 2014 despite pleading his innocence.

Lawyers for Liberty adviser N. Surendran previously claimed there were irregularities in the legal process in Singapore in Pannir’s case.

Surendran had said Pannir’s final recourse via a clemency petition to the Singapore president was allegedly “tainted with illegality and unlawful acts by the Singapore authorities”.

Related Articles NGO wants Putrajaya to stop Malaysian’s execution in Singapore Foreign minister: Putrajaya making efforts to help Malaysian scheduled for execution in Singapore Drug mule's family make final appeal to Singapore president, urge Putrajaya to intervene