Malaysian Govt Is Trying To Save A Sarawakian Man From Death Penalty In Singapore
Singapore's president Halimah Yacob has been urged to halt the execution of a Malaysian man scheduled to be sentenced to death on Friday, 22 March
The man, construction worker Michael Anak Garing from Sarawak, is currently on death row at Changi Prison.
He will be hanged for crimes committed in Singapore in May 2010, The Star reported.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad told reporters on 20 March that the government will attempt to save Michael as "many believe that the death penalty is excessive and hope that Singapore feels the same way too."
"We are trying to save this man's life. As we know, Malaysians' thinking nowadays is that the death sentence is too harsh. The death penalty should be replaced, which we are planning to do, unless it involves specific cases," he added.
His family were only informed of his death sentence when they received a letter asking them to "make the necessary funeral arrangements" eight days prior to the scheduled execution
"This extremely short notice is disturbing and a cause for concern. It gives the family scant time to spend with Michael in his final days, and to make preparations," said Lawyers for Liberty adviser N Surendran, Malaysiakini reported.
Surendran acknowledged that Michael's crime warrants punishment, but argued that the convict should be given a chance at rehabilitation by serving life imprisonment.
In a clemency petition on his behalf, Michael's parents wrote that, "We humbly ask the president of Singapore for mercy and compassion to spare the life of our son Michael. We do not want to excuse our son's offence, but we ask for mercy."
Along with three others, Michael carried out a series of robberies in Kallang, Singapore, one of which led to one death and three serious injuries
Two out of the three victims with serious injuries were kicked, punched, and slashed with a parang. The third had both arms hacked to the bone.
The injuries of the dead victim, 41-year-old Shanmuganathan Dillidurai, consisted of a fractured skull, a severed left hand, a slash wound across his neck, and a back wound that was so deep that his shoulder blade was cracked.
The then 21-year-old Sarawakian, who had wielded the murder weapon, was given the death penalty by the Singapore High Court in 2015
His accomplices were also caught - Tony Imba was sentenced to life imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane, while Hairee Anak Landak and Donny Meluda were sentenced to 33 years imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane, Mothership reported.
All four men were later discovered to be part of the same gang.