ADDENDUM DATED 20 NOVEMBER 2015
Following HAKAM’s statement calling for a moratorium of all 1,022 executions while the government looks into abolishing the mandatory death sentence in Malaysia, HAKAM also urges the government to explore all diplomatic channels to persuade the Singapore government to grant clemency to Kho Jabing, the Sarawakian who is on death row in Singapore. HAKAM acknowledges Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s statement that he will write to appeal to the Singapore government to grant clemency to Jabing.
This is indeed an urgent call for the government to defend one of her citizens on death row. The Malaysian government must view this as a serious case. Kho Jabing was sentenced to death in 2008 and in 2013, Singapore amended its law concerning the mandatory death sentence. This resulted in a resentencing hearing for Kho Jabing.
The High Court of Singapore then sentenced him to life imprisonment plus 24 strokes of the cane which shows that the High Court found that he should not be sentenced to death. Upon appeal by the prosecution, the Court of Appeal sentenced him to death in a 3-2 decision.
This fact plays an important role in proving that we should be pursuing all means necessary to ensure he is given clemency and a chance at rehabilitation. The court had also acquitted Kho Jabing’s co-accussed, Galing of murder charge and sentenced him of the offence of robbery with hurt. The minority judgment of the Court of Appeal also found that there was insufficient evidence to establish beyond reasonable doubt that Kho Jabing had acted in a way which exhibits viciousness or a blatant disregard for human life.
The Malaysian government must do all it can within its capacity to appeal to the Singapore leadership to exercise discretion to grant Kho Jabing clemency. This move should not be seen as interfering in the legal system of Singapore but it must be viewed as the government’s positive obligation to protect the right to life of its citizens abroad.
HAKAM reiterates that nobody should be sentenced to death as it is contrary to international norms in relation to the right to life and the prohibition against cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.
Issued on behalf of HAKAM Executive Committee
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