Putrajaya makes last-minute bid to save Malaysian on death row in S’pore

Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah.

KLUANG: The government is seeking ways to help a Malaysian who is scheduled to be hanged in Singapore on Friday for drug trafficking, said Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah.

He said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Liew Vui Keong was making the efforts to try and save Pannir Selvam Pranthaman from execution.

“Just now, I discussed with Liew and he is working on behalf of Putrajaya to try and convince the Singapore government to spare him the death penalty,” Saifuddin told reporters at a Ramadan programme at Kampung Tengah here today.

Pannir’s family had sought the government’s intervention because they said he had not been given enough opportunity to apply for clemency under the republic’s laws.

Saifuddin said that in similar cases in the past, the government had also taken the same approach of trying to get a lighter sentence for those sentenced to death.

He said this was in line with Malaysia’s move to place a moratorium on the mandatory death sentence.

Asked how Putrajaya could resolve the issue of alleged short notice for carrying out the death sentence, he said there was nothing much the government could do.

“This is how Singapore administer their law. There is not much room for us to complain but normally what we do is try our best to help our people,” he said.

Pannir’s family, through human rights group Lawyers for Liberty, turned to Putrajaya today as their last hope to save him from the death penalty.

This followed their unsuccessful attempts, which included sending the final appeal to Singapore President Halimah Yacob.

Pannir, 32, was convicted of drug trafficking by the Singapore High Court on June 27, 2017.