Malaysian drug courier dies on Singapore gallows, family's lawyer confirms

Lawyer Surendran (pic) called the hanging by Singapore a lawless act that disregarded the due process. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Lawyer Surendran (pic) called the hanging by Singapore a lawless act that disregarded the due process. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 26 — Malaysian Prabu Pathmanathan, 31, was executed at dawn in Singapore’s Changi Prison today, lawyer N. Surendran said in a statement.

Surendran who represents Prabu’s family also confirmed that they have collected his body for cremation later today, but called the hanging by Singapore a lawless act that disregarded the due process.

“The execution was an unlawful, and brutal act, carried out in breach of due process and in defiance of the appeals made by neighbouring Malaysia,” he said.

Prabu was convicted of smuggling 227.82 grams of diamorphine from Malaysia into Singapore in 2014.

Surendran who is also adviser for civil group Lawyers for Liberty claimed the Singapore authorities gave less than a week’s notice on Prabu’s execution to his family even as they and the Malaysian government sought to commute his death sentence.

He said the Singapore President’s Office also rejected petitions for clemency and gave its reply to the family late last night, then questioned the entire manoeuvre which he called “underhanded”.

“It is a flagrant breach of due process for the Singapore President to reject the family’s clemency petition without even considering it. It was thus a lawless act.

“Prabu’s parents and siblings are devastated by the execution of their son and brother,” the lawyer said.

Surendran conveyed the family’s gratitude to the Malaysian government and other anti-death penalty advocates in the country and outside for their support.

Groups like Lawyers for Liberty, Amnesty International, We Believe in Second Chances and Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign were among those who voiced their opposition to Prabu’s hanging.

Malaysia has equally strict laws as Singapore with regards to drug trafficking but the Pakatan Harapan government recently announced that it would abolish the mandatory death penalty as part of its promised legal reforms after taking power in the May elections.

De facto law minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong told reporters Wednesday that he would issue a letter to the Singapore government asking that Prabu be given a second chance.