Putrajaya to appeal to Singapore to halt Prabu’s execution

De facto law minister Liew Vui Keong.

KUALA LUMPUR: Putrajaya will be sending an official letter to Singapore to request a halt to the execution of Malaysian Prabu N Pathmanathan, who is sentenced to hang in two days.

De facto law minister Liew Vui Keong said he would send the letter immediately upon receiving confirmation of the case.

“I will also be engaging with Wisma Putra in this matter. I hope the United Nations in Singapore will also play its part,” he told reporters after a United Nations event to mark its 73rd anniversary celebration here today.

He added that it would be “a sad day” if Prabu, 31, was hanged.

“We hope it can be turned into a life sentence,” he said, adding that neighbouring countries still carried out the death penalty although Putrajaya had agreed to abolish it in Malaysia.

Rights group Lawyers for Liberty had earlier urged the government to intervene in the matter following the announcement that Prabu, who was found guilty of trafficking drugs across the causeway in 2014, would be hanged at the Changi Prison on Friday.

On Oct 10, the Cabinet agreed to abolish the death penalty and halt pending executions. A bill on the matter is expected to be tabled at the Dewan Rakyat.

Stefan Priesner, the United Nations resident coordinator for Malaysia, said there had been high expectations for reforms following Pakatan Harapan’s win in the May 9 general election.

“These reforms will be pivotal in lifting Malaysia from upper-middle income country status to that of a fully developed country,” he said in his speech today.

He added that the UN was collaborating with the government and other partners in efforts to improve the lives of vulnerable groups such as refugees, migrant workers, indigenous groups and women and children.