Thursday, May 23, 2019

Another Malaysian may be hung by Singapore UNLESS....Pannir Selvam Pranthaman

Yet again, Singapore attempting to HANG another Malaysian - a 'drug mule'...and one wonders whether this new Pakatan Harapan government will fare better and save a man's life...
Pannir Selvam Pranthaman may be hanged to death on 24/5/2019(Friday). The Court of Appeal today will be hearing a final stay application...
Will Singapore's President Halimah heed the pleas...request of neighbor Malaysia, a fellow member of ASEAN, and commute the sentence to life imprisonment..?   

Why is Anwar Ibrahim or PKR leadership silent? Are they not bothered about the life of this Malaysian? What about DAP? Amanah? Bersatu? PAS?

Does the ethnicity/religion has any consideration when it comes to a political party's response? We all know that both PAS and even UMNO was very active when it came to saving the life of one Umi Azlim Mohamad Lazim, who was a young Malay woman sentenced to death in China for drug trafficking. Umi Azlim Mohamad Lazim, 24, a university science graduate from a poor Malay family of rice farmers, admitted to having 2.9 kilograms in her luggage when she was arrested at Shantou airport...
Political parties vie to help drug trafficker
Fri, Dec 14, 2007
The Straits Times
KUALA LUMPUR - THE fate of a young Malay woman, who has been sentenced to death by a court in China for smuggling heroin, is causing concern among rival political parties in her home state of Kelantan in Malaysia, with the parties competing to come to her aid.

Umi Azlim Lazim, a 24-year-old Universiti Malaysia Sabah honours graduate, was sentenced to death in May, after she pleaded guilty to trafficking 2.9kg of heroin into Shantou in China's Guangdong province.

Her case hit the headlines in Malaysia last week. On Dec 8, The Star newspaper reported that her family, accompanied by a state government officer, was flying to Guangdong.

Umi's father, Mr Mohamad Lazim, 50, is a car mechanic and her mother Umi Slaia Ibrahim, 45, is a pisang goreng (banana fritters) seller.

Mr Mohamad Lazim told The Star on Saturday that the opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), which rules in Kelantan state, was footing the bill for the trip.

PAS was also raising funds for Umi.

In a report yesterday, PAS deputy president Nasaruddin Mat Isa told Hong Kong's South China Morning Post newspaper that the party was raising funds for the parents to visit Umi and to hire a Chinese lawyer to mount an appeal.

'We want the case reviewed,' he said.

The family has two years - from the time of the sentence in May - to appeal against the death penalty.

Umno, the main party of the ruling federal coalition, also wants to chip in.

The party's Pasir Puteh division head Kamaruddin Mohd Noor had announced the start of a fund to engage a 'top-notch' lawyer in either Malaysia or China.

'We are concerned for any Malaysian citizen facing the gallows abroad,' he said.

However, last week, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said that the Malaysian government could not do much other than ensure that drug offenders abroad received a fair trial.

'We have laws in our country too. You know that if you traffic in drugs, you face the possibility of being sent to the gallows. It is difficult for us to do anything for them other than ensure that the legal process is a just one,' he said.

Under Malaysia's tough anti-drug laws, offenders can be hanged for trafficking 15g or more of heroin.

Umi was employed by a Kuala Lumpur-based firm to market foot massaging equipment and was on a sales and marketing trip in January when she was found with the drugs in Shantou airport. She was then arrested.

Law Minister Nazri Aziz had suggested that she might have been an unwitting accomplice in a drug smuggling operation.

'No young Malay woman, a graduate and employed, had been involved in trafficking. But recently, such incidents are surfacing because they are tricked by syndicates,' Datuk Seri Nazri was quoted as saying by the South China Morning Post.

'We are worried; we are studying the implications.'

His views were shared by Mr Bakri Zininas, director of Malaysia's Narcotics Department, who told The Star newspaper on Monday that Umi and others could have been used as drug mules by international syndicates.

'They were either tricked or they knew what they were doing,' he said, adding that 32 Malaysian women were in jails in China, Japan, Brazil and Chile for trafficking. 'Some have been sentenced, while others are awaiting trial.'

Hopefully, ethnicity and religion does not determine how we response to Human Rights violations  and Injustices - who the victims are or who the perpetrators are should never matter - our struggle is and must be for Human rights - and, here is for the LIFE of Pannir Selvam Pranthaman. Punish him but do not KILL him...

Saifuddin: Govt looking for ways to help Malaysian scheduled to hang in Singapore for drug trafficking

Tuesday, 21 May 2019 10:03 PM MYT

KLUANG (Bernama): The government is seeking ways to help a Malaysian who is scheduled to be hanged in Singapore on Friday (May 24) for drug trafficking, says Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

He said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong was making the efforts to try and save Pannir Selvam Pranthaman from the hangman's noose.

“Just now I discussed it with Liew and he is working on behalf of Putrajaya to try and convince the Singapore government to spare him the death penalty,” he told reporters at a Ramadan programme in Kampung Tengah here Tuesday (May 21).

He was asked to comment on an appeal by Pannir's family seeking the government's intervention because Pannir had allegedly not been given enough opportunity to apply for clemency under the republic's laws.

Saifuddin said in similar cases in the past, the government had also taken the same approach of trying to get a lighter sentence for those sentenced to death.

This is in line with Malaysia's move to place a moratorium on the mandatory death sentence.

Asked how Putrajaya could resolve the issue of allegedly short notice for carrying out the death sentence, he said there was nothing much the Malaysian government could do.

“This is the way Singapore administers its law. There is not much room for us to complain but normally what we do is we will try our best to help our people,” he said.

Tuesday, Pannir's family, through human rights group Lawyers for Liberty, turned to Putrajaya as their last hope to save him from the death penalty.

This followed their unsuccessful attempts to save Pannir, which included sending the final appeal to Singapore President Halimah Yacob.

Pannir, 32, was convicted of the offence by the Singapore High Court on June 27, 2017. - Bernama - Star, 21/5/2019

S'pore court to hear M'sian's application for stay of execution

Bernama  |  Published:
The Singapore Court of Appeal will hear tomorrow the application by Malaysian P Pannir Selvam to stay his execution scheduled for Friday, May 24.

“This application was filed by Pannir himself from prison,” Lawyers for Liberty adviser N Surendran said in a statement today.

Pannir had also submitted a final appeal for clemency to Singapore President Halimah Yacob.

He was convicted on June 27, 2017 by the Singapore High Court of trafficking 51.84g of diamorphine at Woodlands Checkpoint on Sept 3, 2014.

Drug mule's family make final appeal to Singapore president, urge Putrajaya to intervene

P. Pannir Selvam is due to be executed in Singapore on Friday. — AFP pic
P. Pannir Selvam is due to be executed in Singapore on Friday. — AFP pic
KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 — The family of P. Pannir Selvam, a Malaysian convict who is facing the hangman’s noose in three days in Singapore, have made a last-ditch appeal to the island nation’s president Halimah Yacob and the Malaysian government to intervene.

In a press statement today Pannir’s sister, P. Sangkari said the notice of execution which they received last week came as a “shock” since it was dated on the same day that Halimah had refused Pannir any clemency.

Pannir, 32 was convicted on June 27, 2017 by the Singapore High Court of allegedly trafficking in 51.84g of diamorphine at the Woodlands Checkpoint on September 3, 2014 despite consistently pleading innocence.

“We know that in the New Malaysia, our government no longer approves of the death sentence for drug trafficking.

“The Malaysian government is Pannir and our family’s last hope. We implore the Malaysian government to communicate and urge the Singapore government to halt Friday’s execution. Please give Pannir and our family a second chance,” she said.

Lawyers for Liberty adviser N. Surendran had asserted previously that there were several irregularities in the Singapore legal process that will see the Malaysian hanged to death this Friday even though the latter has strong grounds to obtain clemency.

“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.

The former lawmaker highlighted that Pannir had aided the Singapore authorities by providing critical information about one Anand, believed to be the mastermind who had duped Pannir into carrying a package containing drugs to Singapore.

However, he claimed the Singapore public prosecutor unreasonably denied the certificate of assistance to Pannir that would have enabled the court to sentence the Malaysian to life imprisonment instead of death. - Malay Mail, 21/5/2019


Monday, April 08, 2019


Media Statement  9/4/2019


We, the undersigned individuals, organizations and groups are appalled that the United Kingdom has revoked the citizenship of Shamina Begum, a 20-year-old mother who asked to come back to the UK after giving birth to a baby boy in a Syrian Refugee camp. While the UK government refused to allow her and her child in, the baby died.

It was reported that the Home Office sent Begum’s family in UK a letter informing her that Home Secretary Sajid Javid had made an ‘…order “removing her British citizenship” on Tuesday [19/2/2019]. The document, addressed to Begum’s mother, said the decision was taken “in light of the circumstances of your daughter…” (Independent, 20/2/2019)

Denial of Right To Be Heard & a Fair Trial

It is unconscionable and unjust that anyone is deprived of one’s citizenship and/or nationality. It is even more shocking when they have not been accorded the right to be heard and to a fair trial. In addition, any decision should be made by the courts – not merely an administrative order of some Minister, in this case the Home Secretary.

The fact that the UK government knows that Begum is in a Syrian Refugee camp, not in the United Kingdom, and that she had been asking the government to help her and her baby get home, made this act of citizenship cancellation even more outrageous. The tragic death of her child, who was born a British citizen and may have been saved had he been allowed into the UK with his mother, is unconscionable.

The Home Secretary allegedly made his decision “…in light of the circumstances…” but Begum has not been heard, therefore the ‘circumstances’ may not be true – they have certainly not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Fifteen-year-old Begum, with a couple of friends, allegedly left the UK and travelled to Syria. She then allegedly got married to a man from Holland. They allegedly had children, and this is now her third child. Her other children apparently are also no longer alive. Her ‘husband’ was allegedly involved in ISIS and/or a terrorist group. There are allegations that Begum herself may have supported terrorist agendas, beliefs, ideology and may even have participated in their activities.

There can be many allegations, but allegations are irrelevant when it comes to the administration of justice, especially when the end result is the possible deprivation of liberty, or worse, the loss of nationality. Allegations need to be proven beyond reasonable doubt especially when it comes to cancelling one’s birth right. Begum was a citizen at birth. She was not granted her nationality by any subsequent act of government.

What we have heard and seen in the media may have influenced the government of the day. There is always the possibility of bias, selective ‘quotes’ and/or selective reporting that may invite wrong conclusions.

The government, on the other hand, must be more thorough and just, especially if the end result is the expulsion of a person from the UK, the only country that Begum belongs to, the separation from her family there, and now the death of a new born.

At present, there is no crime in UK law that prescribes that the penalty is the revocation of citizenship. Even the worst of criminals, such as convicted mass murderers like the Yorkshire Ripper keep their nationality.

A mother, wife, child or relative of a person convicted of a crime should never be considered guilty simply because of family ties or association. If Shamina Begum did break UK law, then she should be brought back to the UK and accorded a fair trial. If convicted, then she should be sentenced as a citizen in accordance with the law.

DISCRIMINATION – Different treatment based on parentage

Discrimination is also a major concern if different treatment is being accorded to a class of citizens who are assumed to be or maybe entitled to dual nationalities through parentage, or even marriage. Would other citizens of the UK, with no migrant heritage, be treated in the same way ending up with the revocation of their UK citizenship?

‘...Speaking after he revoked her British citizenship, [Home Secretary,] Sajid Javid said he would not take a decision that would leave an individual with nowhere to go… Although he has not commented directly on the case, Mr Javid appeared to confirm earlier in the week the government felt able to take such action – which would prevent her from returning to the UK – because she is a dual national or has the right to citizenship elsewhere. Under international law, revoking someone's citizenship is only permissible if it does not leave that person stateless...’ (Sky News, 21/2/2019).

It must be noted that Begum does not hold dual citizenship, which is permitted in the UK, but is a UK citizen from birth. The Home Secretary’s order would thus now make her stateless. Bangladesh has already stated that Begum does not have any right to Bangladeshi citizenship.

The position adopted by the UK is clearly discriminatory. It sets a frightening precedent for millions of people born in the UK to immigrant parents. They can now lose their citizenship whilst those born to British-born parents cannot.

It is most disturbing to find out that there has been a significant escalation of removal of citizenship. This was highlighted by the Windrush scandal where Commonwealth citizens who had lived in the UK for decades were deported if they could not show documentation proving their citizenship.

Removal of Citizenship has increased by 600% in a year. Over the past 10 years, 150 people have been deprived of UK nationality. Fourteen people were deprived of citizenship in 2016, and 104 in 2017. (Independent, 21/2/2019).

This is another result of the ‘racist policy’ to create a ‘hostile environment’ against anyone assumed to be an immigrant from the ‘New Commonwealth’ (i.e. people from countries with mainly non-white populations) put in place by Prime Minister Theresa May when she was then Home Secretary.

Child Rights Convention – Removing A Mother’s Nationality Is Not In The Best Interest Of A UK Child Citizen

Begum’s son was born days before her citizenship was revoked and was therefore a UK citizen.  The government’s action was against the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), amongst others, as it deprived him of his mother and of his right to be breastfed by her.  It was certainly not in the best interest of the child. His subsequent death is a tragedy that may have been avoided had his rights been prioritized. Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott questioned whether stripping Begum of her nationality “made it impossible for her to fulfil her duties as a mother and bring her baby home to a safe place.”

Therefore we

Call on the UK government to forthwith revoke the Home Secretary’s order removing Begum’s UK citizenship/nationality, and immediately bring her back to the UK as per her request;

Call on the UK Government to respect human rights, including the rights of the child as contained in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC); and

Call on the UK to abolish laws and/or policies that can result in discriminatory treatment against citizens based on factors including parentage.

Charles Hector
Selma James
Nina Lopez

For and on behalf of the 16 organisations and 27 individuals listed below

Association of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters - HRDP in Myanmar
Disabled People Against Cuts
English Collective of Prostitutes
Global Women’s Strike
Haiti Action Committee, US
International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, UK
Legal Action for Women
MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture)
Marvi Rural Development Organization, MRDO
North South Initiative
Payday men’s network
Peter Tatchell Foundation
Single Mothers’ Self-Defence
WH4C (Workers Hub For Change)
Women of Colour GWS
Women for Justice and Peace in Sri Lanka

Ahmed Aydeed, solicitor
Hannah Baynes, solicitor
Sara Callaway, Women of Colour GWS
Chris Callender, solicitor
Professor Tom Cheesman
Louise Christian (Human Rights lawyer)
Elizabeth Cross
Dr Jonathan Fluxman
Anthony Gifford QC
Teresa Hayter
Charles Hector, advocate and solicitor
Toufique Hossain, solicitor
Selma James, Global Women’s Strike
Lorry Leader
Nina Lopez, Legal Action for Women
Barbara Le Fevre
Daniel Machover, Hickman Rose solicitors
David Malone, barrister
Anna Mazzola, writer
Bhatt Murphy, solicitor
Jacqueline McKenzie, immigration and asylum lawyer
Sally Middleton, Birnberg Peirce & partners solicitors
Giorgio Riva
Akua Rugg
Jane Ryan
Rachel Zeng, human rights defender
Benjamin Zephaniah, poet, musician