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Singapore rejects claims that Malaysian prisoners are targeted for execution

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has rejected allegations that Malaysian prisoners are being targeted for execution, stressing that Singapore’s laws “apply equally to all” regardless of whether the offender is a local or a foreigner.

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has rejected allegations that Malaysian prisoners are being targeted for execution, stressing that Singapore’s laws “apply equally to all” regardless of whether the offender is a local or a foreigner.

This is in response to Malaysian media reports that said Singapore has rejected several clemency petitions for Malaysian drug convicts who have been sentenced to death.

Replying to media queries on Saturday (July 13), an MHA spokesperson said: “All foreigners who visit or live in Singapore must abide by our laws, and if they choose to break our laws, must be prepared to be subject to our laws.

“Singapore has a strong rule of law and an independent judiciary. Regardless of nationality, all offenders, including prisoners sentenced to death, are accorded full due process under the law.”

When a convict has been sentenced to death, the individual can submit a clemency petition to Singapore’s President, which would be “carefully considered on its own merits”, said MHA.

With regard to the clemency petitions that have been submitted, the President acted on the advice of the Cabinet in accordance with Article 22P of the Constitution, in not exercising the clemency power. Article 22P spells out the rules on granting pardon.

The MHA pointed out that each country has the sovereign right to decide on the use of capital punishment, “taking into account its own circumstances”. Singapore’s continued use of the death penalty has received criticisms from human rights activists both here and overseas.

“There is no international consensus against the use of the death penalty when it is imposed according to due process of law,” said the MHA. “Singapore respects the sovereign right of other States to determine their own legal systems and expects the same in return.”

On Friday, Malaysian media reported that four Malaysian drug convicts have had their clemency petitions rejected and now face execution at Changi Prison.

According to Lawyers for Liberty, a Malaysian-based human rights organisation championing legal reforms, they were among 10 death row inmates who had their clemency bids rejected in the last week.

The group’s adviser N Surendran, a Malaysian lawyer and former parliamentarian, was reported by Malaysian media as saying that the “unprecedented” number of rejected clemency petitions indicates that Singapore is preparing for an “execution binge”.

Given the high number of rejected clemency bids, he also questioned whether each prisoner’s case was duly considered by Singapore’s President and Cabinet. 

 

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Singapore MHA law crime

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