MARCH 18 — Malaysian citizen Michael anak Garing is scheduled to be hanged in Changi prison on Friday, March 22, 2019. Michael, who is a Sarawakian, was convicted of murder in 2015 by the republic's high court and the conviction was affirmed by the court of appeal in 2017.
Michael's family, who are from Kapit in Sarawak, have only been given eight days' notice of the imminent execution. They have been asked by letter to make the “necessary funeral arrangements.”
This extremely short notice is disturbing and cause for concern. It gives the family scant time to spend with Michael in his final days and to make preparations.
Michael was only 21 years old when he committed the crime. We accept that it was a serious crime and that he must face punishment. But like any young person who has committed a crime, Michael must be given an opportunity for rehabilitation. By executing him, the state is answering his wrongdoing with an even greater wrong.
Singapore gains nothing by carrying out this execution, except to strengthen the perception of indifference and callousness to human life. The death penalty has never been proven to be a deterrent to serious crime. Killing Micheal only entrenches the culture of violence, and will not make Singaporeans any safer in their daily lives.
We strongly urge the President of Singapore to exercise clemency and commute Michael's sentence to life imprisonment. It is not too late to do so. We further urge the government of Singapore to impose a moratorium on all executions and work towards abolition of the death penalty.
* Press statement by N. Surendran, advisor to Lawyers for Liberty, on March 18, 2019
** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.