Singapore: Malaysian man to execute on Mar 22, rights activists criticised the process

Read to know what Singapore law states in terms of drug trafficking and how the death penalty executed.

hanging from a rope
Death penalty (Representational picture) Pixabay

While Singapore allegedly ignored pleas for pardon of a Malaysian man, convicted of drug trafficking, the justice department fixed another Malaysian citizen's execution date which is on Friday, March 22.

As reported, on October 26, 2018, Prabu N Pathmanathan, the Malaysian citizen was convicted of trafficking drugs across the causeway. The incident took place in the year 2014. But the Malaysian news platform Free Malaysia Today reported that almost five months ago Singapore ignored his pleas for pardon.

The news outlet also highlighted a case, which involved the convict of murder, Sarawakian Michael. The report stated that Singapore's Changi Prison authorities sent a notice to the family of the convict, who was found guilty four years ago. It said that the family was given only eight days' notice of the execution, which will be on Friday.

Malaysian human rights group, Lawyers for Liberty (LFL), criticized the process of sending such short notice.

LFL's N Surendran stated that by a letter, Michael's family was asked to make 'necessary funeral arrangements' and such short notice is also disturbing, as well as 'a cause for concern.'

"It gives the family scant time to spend with Michael in his final days and to make preparations," said Surendran.

He also said that while Michael should pay for his crime, the convict must have given at least one chance to undergo rehabilitation.

In addition, Surendran stated, "The death penalty has never been proven to be a deterrent to serious crime. Killing Michael only entrenches the culture of violence, and will not make Singaporeans any safer in their daily lives."

In the case of the Pathmanathan, the convict of drug trafficking claimed that the confessions obtained against the Malaysian man were made under pressure.

Singapore laws:

The republic is known for its stricter laws. As per Section 5 of the Misuse of Drug Act, depending on the class and the quantity of the drugs trafficked, the penalty ranges from imprisonment and strokes of the cane to the mandatory death penalty. As an example, if a person is convicted of trafficking controlled drugs containing more than 250 g of ice, he or she will face a mandatory death penalty.

It is also a punishable offence under section 8 (a) to possess controlled drugs and if the person is convicted, then he or she has to face a maximum of 10 years' imprisonment or a fine of $20,000 or both.

Recently Singapore government stated that introducing others to drug traffickers or teaching a person to consume drugs will be considered as an offence as per the amendments to the Misuse of Drug Act that was passed on January 15.

As the law states, Singapore executes by hanging and usually, it is done on Friday. The families are informed on Monday of the week of the execution so that the families of foreign death-row inmates will get roughly a week time to arrange a visit to the inmate. From the time when they are informed to the day of execution, family members are to make funeral arrangements and choose clothes for the inmate to wear during a pre-execution photo session and later the pictures are sent to the families. The only people allowed to watch the execution are doctors and prison officers.

Related topics : Singapore crime