Minister calls for mercy as Singapore prepares to hang Malaysian

Abd Helmi Ab Halim is on death row in Singapore’s Changi prison and is scheduled to be hanged on Friday. (Reuters pic)

PETALING JAYA: Liew Vui Keong, the minister in charge of law, has urged the Singapore government to have mercy as another Malaysian on death row faces execution this Friday.

Liew said it was “heart-wrenching” to see a Malaysian facing execution, adding that Putrajaya had already imposed a moratorium on the death penalty.

“Justice must be tempered with mercy, and I implore Singapore to do so,” he said in a statement today.

He added that it was unfair and disproportionate for drug mules to pay such a heavy price as it was “kingpins and the true masters of the trade” who bear the heavier responsibility.

Abd Helmi Ab Halim, 36, is on death row in Singapore’s Changi prison. He was convicted and sentenced to death for allegedly trafficking in 16.56g of diamorphine on March 24, 2017.

He is scheduled to be hanged at dawn on Friday.

Rights group Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) spoke out against the impending execution, questioning the likelihood that Helmi had received a fair trial.

LFL adviser N 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.