Wednesday, May 04, 2016
Kho Jabing's family pleads for his life? Will Malaysian government do anything?
KUCHING: Anguished family members of convicted murderer Jabing Kho, 32, are pleading with Sarawak leaders to try and save him from the gallows by imploring Singapore President Tony Tan to grant him clemency.
Jabing’s mother Lenduk Baling, 55, said the family had exhausted every legal avenue to save her only son after the Singapore Court of Appeal upheld Kho’s death sentence on April 5, 2016.
“We know that the odds are not in our favour. But we (family) will try any means possible to overturn the death sentence against my son to life imprisonment. I have lost my husband, I cannot bear to lose my only son,” said Lenduk who fought back tears when speaking at a press conference yesterday.
She also admitted to have spoken to the Singaporean authorities by offering herself to undergo the death sentence in place of her son.
Also speaking was Jabing’s sister Jumai Kho, 28 who said the unfolding saga has become a mentally and physically challenging ordeal for the family ever since her brother was arrested in the republic.
“We are mentally and physically tired. Despite that fact, we will never give up on our desire for Jabing not be imposed the death penalty but granted clemency for life imprisonment,” said Jumai who together with her mother arrived in Sarawak on April 13 after attending the sentencing by the Singapore Court of Appeal on April 5.
She also said with the backing from Sarawakian state assemblyman or members of parliament, at least their voices in the republic would be louder.
“I am just a sister and housewife. No one in Singapore is willing to hear the pleading voices of mine or my mother’s,” she added.
Also present at the press conference were representatives of the Advocates’ Association of Sarawak who called on the Malaysian government to support any further application for clemency.
“We are not condoning the actions by him (Jabing) but we are urging the government to do its utmost to intercede with the Singaporean authorities to commute Jabing’s death sentence to one of life imprisonment,” said association president Leonard Sim explaining that their views were purely based on humanitarian ground.
He said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Nancy Shukri and Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem had given their assurance that the State and Federal Governments were doing all they could to save Jabing from the gallows.
Also present were representatives from the Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign (SADPC) and We Believe in Second Chances who will be submitting a petition within this next few days to the Singapore president to grant clemency to Jabing.
Kirsten Han, a member of We Believe in Second Chances during the press conference revealed that the last clemency granted by the president was in 1998.
Both organisations, she said would also be urging the Cabinet of the Republic of Singapore to advise their president in granting the clemency as they strongly believed that every human being deserved a second chance in life.
Jabing was convicted of murder under Section 300 (c) of the Penal Code on May 24, 2011 which carried the mandatory death sentence at the time of conviction.
In 2012, the Singapore parliament amended the Penal Code to give judges the discretion to sentence offenders convicted under Section 300 (c) to life imprisonment with caning.
On Nov 18, 2013, Justice Tay Yong Kwang resentenced Jabing to life imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane.
However on Jan 14, 2015 the Court of Appeal by a majority decision (with two out of the five judges dissenting) overturned Justice Tay’s decision and sentenced Jabing to death.
Jabing was scheduled to be executed on Nov 6, 2015 after his petition to president of Singapore for clemency failed. However, the execution was temporarily stayed pending the hearing on Nov 23, 2015 of his application to review and set aside the sentence.
On April 5, 2016, the Court of Appeal upheld Jabing’s death sentence, lifting the stay of execution that they had issued in Nov 2015 after Jabing’s lawyer filed a criminal motion at the eleventh hour.