As the day of his death sentence draws near (May 24), family and relatives of Malaysian P. Pannir Selvam are earnestly petitioning for the Singaporean government to show mercy in an 11th-hour plea on the forthcoming execution.
Pannir, maintains that he is innocent, though he has been found guilty and sentenced to hang.
On September 3, 2014, Pannir was found to be in possession of 51.84 grams of diamorphine, aka heroin, at the Woodlands Checkpoint between Singapore and Malaysia. He was convicted despite pleading innocent on June 27, 2017.
Appealing to Singapore’s president, Pannir’s sister revealed that the family was notified of his execution date last week on the very day that his last bid for clemency was rejected by President Halimah Yacob. She has asked the Malaysian government to step in with any assistance.
In a statement, Pannir’s family said that the “Malaysian government is Pannir’s and our family’s last hope. We implore the Malaysian government to communicate and urge the Singapore government to halt Friday’s execution. Please give Pannir and our family a second chance.”
“We know that in the New Malaysia, our government no longer approves of the death sentence for drug trafficking.”
“More disturbingly, Pannir’s final recourse of a clemency petition to the president of Singapore has been tainted with illegality and unlawful acts by the Singapore authorities,” said N. Surendran, an adviser to the group.
Singapore, known for its strict stand on drug trafficking, denied Pannir a certificate of assistance that would have converted his sentence to life imprisonment.
In addition, Singapore has been known not to agree to other national governments’ pleas for clemency on sentenced offenders. Pannir’s family can only hope to be the exception this time. -/TISG