In a press release issued today by his family, relatives of Malaysian-national P. Pannir Selvam, are pleading with the Singaporean government for last-minute clemency as the date for his pending execution edges closer.
Pannir, who has maintained his innocence throughout his trial, is set to face death by hanging in only three days.
Appealing to Singapore’s president, his sister revealed that the family was given notice 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.
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.
“We know that in the New Malaysia, our government no longer approves of the death sentence for drug trafficking.
“The Malaysian government is Pannir 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,” read the statement.
Local lawyer activist group Lawyers for Liberty has weighed in on the issue, and called out what they say are “irregularities” in the Singaporean legal process.
“Once again, Singapore is planning to execute a mere drug mule, while the drug kingpins continue to ply their trade with impunity.
“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.
Adding that there is cause to believe that Pannir was mere duped into carrying a package by a man named “Anand,” and that the defendant gave authorities thorough information on the alleged mastermind.
Singapore, a country known for its harsh anti-drug trafficking laws, denied Pannir a certificate of assistance that would have commuted his sentence to life imprisonment.