Group appeals to President Tony Tan over Malaysian's impending execution

Ms Jumai Kho (left) and Madam Lenduk Baling, the sister and mother of convicted murderer Jabing Kho respectively, leaving the Supreme Court on 5 April 2016.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

PETALING JAYA - A coalition of NGOs and individuals have urged Singapore president Tony Tan to grant clemency to Malaysian Kho Jabing who is due to be executed next week for a murder he committed eight years ago.

In a statement, the coalition said the announcement of Jabing's execution came as a shock to the family and all involved in campaigning for him as they were under the impression that the authorities would allow his lawyer to submit a fresh clemency appeal on his behalf.

This was after a criminal motion filed in late 2015 was dismissed last month.

The coalition said that Jabing's lawyer had sent President Tony Tan a holding letter informing the former's intention to file a new clemency petition, and had been in the process of drafting it when the execution was scheduled.

Jabing's family received a letter from the Singapore Prison Service on Thursday about the execution that has been scheduled for May 20.

On May 13, Jabing's lawyer received a letter from the President saying that he would be willing to consider a clemency petition if it is filed, but will not be postponing the scheduled execution.

"Considering that past practice shows that the President usually takes three months before any decision regarding clemency is announced, we are concerned that this current state of affairs will leave the Cabinet and the President with insufficient time to properly consider a fresh plea from Jabing," the coalition said in a statement on Saturday.

The coalition is made up of groups such as We Believe in Second Chances, Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign, Amnesty International and others.

It added that Jabing's case presented very strong and persuasive grounds for clemency, and that his death sentence should be immediately be set aside and commuted to life imprisonment as allowed by Singapore's Constitution.

"We therefore urge the Cabinet of Singapore to advise President Tony Tan to grant clemency to Jabing Kho without delay and re-establish a moratorium on executions as a first step towards the abolition of the death penalty," it said.