Another Malaysian in Singapore prison to hang on Friday

Singapore’s Changi prison, where Abd Helmi Ab Halim is being held. (AFP pic)

PETALING JAYA: Rights group Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) has spoken against the impending execution of yet another Malaysian on death row in Singapore’s Changi prison, questioning the likelihood that Abd Helmi Ab Halim had received a fair trial.

LFL adviser N Surendran said Helmi, 36, had been convicted and sentenced to death for allegedly trafficking 16.56g of diamorphine on March 24, 2017.

He is scheduled to be hanged at dawn on Friday.

“Helmi has consistently denied any knowledge of the drugs he is alleged to have been carrying.

“Once again Singapore is preparing to execute an alleged drug mule while the drug kingpins continue to operate with impunity,” Surendran said in a statement today.

Surendran, who represents Malaysian death row inmates in Singapore, previously accused the Singapore government of “double standards” in targeting Malaysians charged with drug trafficking for execution. He also claimed that lawyers were barred from visiting their clients in prison.

He also spoke of “serial hanging” in the republic after 10 inmates at Changi prison, including four Malaysians convicted of drug-related offences, had their clemency petitions rejected.

Singapore has denied targeting Malaysians, saying it applies the laws “equally” to both local and foreign offenders.

Surendran today said “an unusually high proportion” of those charged with drug trafficking in Singapore are eventually convicted.

“This itself suggests a legal system biased against the accused in drug trafficking cases,” he said.

Urging Singapore to comply with international law under which the death penalty for drug crimes amounts to unlawful killing, he said Malaysia itself had declared a moratorium on executions pending abolition of the death sentence for drug offences.

“We also urge the Malaysian government to make urgent representations to Singapore to save the life of this Malaysian citizen.”