KUALA LUMPUR: The Singapore government has again been urged to give Malaysians on death row a second chance and to reconsider the application of the death penalty.
Lawyers for Liberty legal adviser N Surendran today urged the Singapore government to stop the “double standard” practice against Malaysians and to stop “targeting” Malaysians for execution.
He asked if there was any reason Malaysian lawyers were disallowed from seeing their death row clients in Singapore when lawyers from other countries were allowed to do so.
He said he himself had not been allowed to see his clients, including Pannir Selvam Pranthaman, in Changi prison.
“Australian lawyers are allowed to meet their clients in Changi prison. I, too, applied to meet my clients but was rejected. Why doesn’t Singapore allow Malaysian lawyers to do so, too?
“If they allow us to see our clients, then we can take proper instructions and in turn give proper instructions to Singapore lawyers who are acting on our behalf. The Singapore lawyers are hired by us. But you don’t allow us to see the clients or attend the hearings.
“This is clearly a double standard action against Malaysia,” he told reporters outside the Singapore High Commission after submitting a memorandum to seek pardons for four Malaysian prisoners on death row.
Also present were several human rights groups, including Suaram, and families of Malaysians on death row for drug trafficking in Singapore.
Surendran also expressed disappointment that the high commission had refused to grant their request for a representative from each family to enter the premises to present the memorandum.
“Singapore can’t pretend it is putting an end to the drug trafficking problem by hanging Malaysian drug mules from a poor background, especially when most of them have been duped into smuggling these things,” he said.
Parames Waria, the wife of K Datchinamurthy who is on death row, also appealed to the Singapore government to give her husband a second chance.
“I am humbly requesting that they at least commute the sentence to life imprisonment,” she said.
Pannir Selvam’s sister, P Angelia, appealed for clemency for all death row inmates there.
“My brother has been inside for five years and it is really tough. Singapore is not only punishing the death row inmates, it is also punishing the families,” she said.