A hangman’s noose

Update (1.01pm on 26 October 2018) – TOC understands that the total number of executions this week stands at 4 and not 3, as reported earlier. It has come to our attention that Ali Bin Mohamad Bahashwan was executed alongside his co-accused Selamat Bin Paki on Wednesday afternoon (24 October 2018). As a result of the lack of official data and statistics regarding executions, we had to take some time to verify and confirm this information before publishing this update. Prabu and Irwan were executed earlier today at 6am. Full story here.

Barring a miracle, Prabu N Pathmanathan, is set to be executed tomorrow (26 October) at dawn. Earlier today, two petitions of clemency addressed to President Halimah Yacob were submitted at the Istana – the official residence of the President of Singapore. The first petition was submitted by seven members of Prabu’s family. he second petition was submitted by Singaporeans and was signed by 4 civil society organizations and 49 individuals.

These petitions are the latest efforts in the attempt to halt Prabu’s execution. Yesterday, the de-facto Malaysian Law Minister, Liew Vui Keong, also penned a letter to the Singapore Government to urge it to commute Prabu’s death sentence to life imprisonment. The Malaysian Bar has also issued a press release calling for the same.

At about 8.42 am today (25 October), Prabu’s mother, K. Sugna, and sister, who were accompanied by Malaysian human rights lawyer N Surendran and Kirsten Han, a Singaporean anti-death penalty activist, submitted a petition that was signed by Prabu’s parents and five of his siblings to the Istana.

“Prabu’s family greatly appreciates and welcomes our government’s efforts on behalf of Prabu, and hopes that Malaysia will today make all efforts necessary to halt the execution … We once again appeal to the government of Singapore and its President to spare this young Malaysian from the gallows tomorrow.” – N Surendran

In the afternoon, another clemency petition that was signed by 49 individuals and 4 civil society organizations – Maruah, Function 8, Think Centre and the Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign – from Singapore was also submitted to the Istana. The second petition highlighted the fact that there was no publicly available grounds of decision from the Court of Appeal for Prabu’s case. It also noted that at no point during the trial or the clemency process were any efforts undertaken by Prabu’s counsel to contact his family who lived in Johor. According to the petition, Prabu’s mother, K. Sugna, was not aware that her son was on death row, let alone facing imminent execution, until last Friday.

TOC understands that Prabu’s family did get the chance to visit him in Changi Prison Complex today.


Later this evening at 7.30pm, a candlelight vigil will be held at Hong Lim Park for Prabu and Irwan Ali, a fellow death row inmate whose execution is also slated for tomorrow. More details on the event can be found at this link.

Despite the concerted efforts of lawyers, activists and politicians from both sides of the causeway, there has been no indication thus far that the Singaporean authorities harbour any intentions of halting the executions. If the executions do proceed as planned, it would mean that no less than 4 inmates were executed within a span of just 48 hours.

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