Malaysian death row inmate’s life in Singapore A-G’s hands, says lawyer

Alfian Z.M. Tahir

Pannir Selvam’s sister Angelia Selvam weeps as she appeals to the Singapore authorities to spare her brother’s life. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Najjua Zulkefli, July 5, 2019.

THE Singapore attorney-general should issue a certificate of substantive assistance (CSA) that will spare the life of Malaysian P. Pannir Selvam who waas sentenced to death in the republic in 2017 for drug trafficking.

Lawyers for Liberty adviser N. Surendran said Pannir has been providing the Singaporean authorities with valuable information on drug syndicates.

“It is shocking that the AG did not issue a certificate of cooperation. Pannir has been assisting the authorities and he was duped by drug kingpins in Malaysia.”

“We have all the details and the details have been handed over to them. That is why we are shocked that the AG has refused to give the certificate without saying why it was not given.”

Surendran said the “AG holds the life and death of Pannir” in his hands.

Pannir is currently locked up in Changi prison after he was granted a stay of execution on May 23 by the Court of Appeal.

He was to have been hanged on May 24.

The 31-year-old Pannir was found to be in possession of 51.84g of heroin at Woodlands Checkpoint in September 2014. 

Lawyers for Liberty adviser N. Surendran (seated, left) says it is shocking that the Singapore attorney-general has failed to issue Pannir Selvam a certificate of substantive assistance that will save him from the gallows. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Najjua Zulkefli, July 5, 2019.

Surendran said a hearing will be held on July 19 to decide whether Pannir should be issued a CSA.. 

Meanwhile, Pannir’s younger sister Angelia Selvam said Singaporean authorities have captured a man linked to a drug syndicate thanks to information from Pannir.

“His information led to the arrest of the man who is linked to the syndicate. We hope they can issue the certificate and spare my brother’s life from the gallows.”

“He was tricked into it (smuggling heroin). He had just wanted to help as it is his nature to help people, even strangers,” said Angelia in tears.

Surendran had previously pointed out several irregularities in the Singaporean legal process in relation to Pannir’s case.

“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,” Surendran said in a statement last May.

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