After the controversial stay of execution in the case of the Malaysian drug mule who was sentenced to hang last Friday (May 24), allegations have surfaced accusing the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Liew Vui Keong to have interfered with Singapore’s decision to grant a stay of execution to Pannir Selvam Pranthaman who was found guilty of carrying 51.84g of heroin at the Woodlands Checkpoint in 2014.
In his response, Mr. Liew Vui Keong said that such allegations were “totally unfounded and baseless” and were “purely a figment of an imagination on someone’s part.”
His statement came after Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam said that it was “not tenable” for Singapore to go easy on Malaysian drug offenders who have been caught.
The Malaysian minister said he was issuing the statement to “avoid further confusion and unnecessary innuendos” as there had been serious allegations made against him “by a certain quarter across the causeway.”
The need to respect Singapore’s position on capital punishment
Singapore has obtained three appeals from Malaysia to arbitrate in executions since the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government came into power a year ago, and two of these were drug traffickers, according to Mr. Shanmugam.
Speaking at a seminar, Mr Shanmugam made mention of the fact that there were a number of people from the PH who were “ideologically opposed” to the death penalty but that they “have to respect that position.”
“At the same time, we do impose the death penalty in Singapore, and I expect that Malaysia will respect that position as well,” he said.
“It is not tenable to give a special moratorium to Malaysians, and impose it on everyone else, including Singaporeans who commit offences which carry the death penalty,” he added.
He also said that both sides should discuss how to tackle cross-border drug offences and “get to the root of the problem.”
“We have good cooperation with Malaysian agencies; they do a good job, we cooperate effectively. And I hope they can be given every support, and we can get more evidence on the other kingpins operating in Malaysia to be picked up,” Mr. Shanmugam firmly expressed.
“I respect the decision of the Singapore’s Court” – Liew
According to Mr. Liew, while he has not read the grounds of the decision, it was obvious for him that the Singapore court arrived at its decision after having considered the prevailing circumstances and the rule of law applicable to the case.
“It is therefore equally untenable to allege that there’s an interference on my part to their judicial process. I, and so is everyone of us here in Malaysia, respect the decision of the Singapore’s Court,” Mr Liew stressed.
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