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Singapore urges Malaysia to do more in anti-drugs fight after drug mule executed

SINGAPORE — Singapore's Ministry of Law (MinLaw) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in a joint statement urged Malaysia to do more in the common fight against drugs after the Republic turned down a plea for a convicted Malaysian drug trafficker to be spared the gallows.

The statement by the Law and Home Affairs Ministries urging Malaysia to do more in the anti-drugs fight came after convicted Malaysian drug trafficker Abd Helmi Ab Halim was executed at Changi Prison Complex on Friday (Nov 22).

The statement by the Law and Home Affairs Ministries urging Malaysia to do more in the anti-drugs fight came after convicted Malaysian drug trafficker Abd Helmi Ab Halim was executed at Changi Prison Complex on Friday (Nov 22).

SINGAPORE — Singapore's Ministry of Law (MinLaw) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in a joint statement urged Malaysia to do more in the common fight against drugs after the Republic turned down a plea for a convicted Malaysian drug trafficker to be spared the gallows.

Foreigners who choose to break Singapore's laws must be prepared to be subject to them, the ministries said in the statement issued on Friday (Nov 22).

It came after Malaysian Law Minister Liew Vui Keong on Thursday issued a statement asking Singapore to show mercy to convicted Malaysian drug trafficker Abd Helmi Ab Halim. The 36-year-old from Johor Bahru, who was married with children, was executed on Friday at Changi Prison Complex.

Helmi was sentenced to death after being convicted of trafficking in 16.56g of diamorphine, or pure heroin, in March 2017. His clemency plea in July this year was also unsuccessful.

In his statement, Mr Liew said that Malaysia has already imposed a moratorium on the death penalty pending a review of its laws.

“It is therefore heart-wrenching to see a fellow citizen to be executed for circumstances entirely uncompelling, given the close proximity of our countries,” he said, adding that a term of imprisonment was appropriate for drug mules.

He added that it was unfair and disproportionate for drug mules to pay such a heavy price as it was “kingpins and the true masters of the trade” who bear the heavier responsibility.

LAWS APPLY EQUALLY TO ALL

Responding to Mr Liew’s comments on Friday, the Singapore authorities said that Helmi was accorded full due process under the law and was represented by legal counsel throughout the process.

They said that Helmi had trafficked diamorphine equivalent to about 1,380 straws of heroin. This amount was sufficient to feed the addiction of close to 200 abusers for a week, they added.

The authorities stressed that Singapore’s laws apply equally to all, regardless of nationality.

“Foreigners who choose to break our laws must be prepared to be subject to them and cannot expect any differentiated treatment,” MinLaw and MHA added in their statement.

MALAYSIA URGED TO ‘DO MORE IN FIGHT AGAINST DRUGS’

Referring to Mr Liew’s comments that to control the drug problem, “drug kingpins and true masters of the trade… must face the full brunt of the law”, the authorities said that they agreed with Mr Liew, and that Malaysia can help in the common fight against drugs in two ways.

Firstly, Malaysia could aggressively root out drug kingpins in Malaysia who send drug traffickers from Malaysia to Singapore.

Secondly, Malaysia could take serious steps to prevent people from being recruited for drug trafficking and prevent them from crossing over to Singapore.

“In this way, Malaysia can do more to help save the lives of Malaysians who would otherwise become drug traffickers, trafficking drugs into Singapore,” they said in their statement.

The two ministries said that there is no international consensus on the use of the death penalty, and that every country has the sovereign right to decide on the use of capital punishment.

They added that in Singapore’s experience the death penalty, when combined with other measures, has been an effective deterrent and that it is one of the few countries where the drug problem has been contained.

“Singapore respects the sovereign right of other countries to determine their own legal systems, and expects the same in return,” they added.

Related topics

drugs Malaysia death penalty MHA minlaw

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