SINGAPORE, Aug 23 — A Malaysian prisoner on death row has told the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) that he did not write the articles published in Malaysian media that were purportedly written by him.
The SPS said in a statement today that it was aware of the articles, in which inmate Pannir Selvam Pranthaman, who was given a stay of execution in May, had detailed his experiences in Changi Prison.
“Pannir has told SPS that he did not write the articles. The articles have been written in Pannir’s name, (in the first person) by someone else. This appears to be part of an orchestrated campaign to put pressure on the Singapore Government,” said the SPS, adding that it will further investigate the matter.
Pannir, a 31-year-old drug mule, was convicted in 2017 of trafficking 51.84g of heroin.
He was due to be hanged on May 24 but was given a stay of execution a day before, after the apex court granted an eleventh-hour appeal.
Minister for Law and Home Affairs K. Shanmugam had earlier revealed that Malaysia’s law minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong has written a letter to the Singapore government to appeal on Pannir’s behalf.
Shanmugam added that Malaysia’s Pakatan Harapan government, which is ideologically opposed to the death penalty, has made appeals to Singapore for clemency in three cases since it came to power.
But it is not possible for the Singapore government to oblige, he said, as it would go against due process.
Pannir’s lawyer N. Surendran, who has been representing Malaysian convicts on death row, last month urged the Mahathir government to urgently speak to Singapore on behalf of four Malaysians who were then facing imminent execution.
Surendran, who is also the adviser for Malaysian human rights group Lawyers for Liberty, had also charged that his country’s prisoners were being targeted, an accusation that Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs has described as “baseless”. — TODAY