PM says Putrajaya working to save Malaysian on death row in Singapore

Ida Nadirah Ibrahim
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during a press conference at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur March 12, 2019. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad gave an assurance today that the government is making an effort to ensure Sarawakian Michael Garing will not hang in Singapore the day after tomorrow.

The Pakatan Harapan federal government has recently announced the abolition of the mandatory death sentence in Malaysia, to be replaced with discretionary powers to the courts on capital punishment.

“We are sad because the death penalty should be commuted to another sentence, which is what we will do, in exception of certain cases,” the prime minister told a press conference in Parliament today, referring to his administration’s plan concerning the death sentence.

“We are trying to save his life because as we know, the people find that the death penalty is too much,” he added, referring to Michael.

The Sarawakian is currently incarcerated in Changi Prison after he was convicted of murder in 2015 and is scheduled to be executed this Friday.

Michael, along with another Sarawakian Tony Imba, were members of a Singapore gang robbery that resulted in the death of one man and injured three others.

Dr Mahathir said he hopes other countries will follow Putrajaya’s example to do away with the mandatory death sentence. He cited Australia as an example against capital punishment.

“In Australia, they would not deport a person who has come to Australia but on death sentence back to their home country, because the country has capital punishment,” he said.

Yesterday, de facto law minister Datuk Liew View Keong said the government will submit a letter to Singapore to commute Michael’s execution.

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