SINGAPORE: The Singapore Prison Service (SPS) said on Friday (Aug 23) that several articles purportedly penned by a Malaysian drug offender on death row here were in fact written by someone else and part of an “orchestrated campaign”.
Pannir Selvam Pranthaman told SPS that he did not write the articles, it said in a press statement.
“The articles have been written in Pannir’s name, (in the first person) by someone else. This appears to be part of an orchestrated campaign to put pressure on the Singapore Government,” it said, adding that it will further investigate the matter.
SPS’s statement comes after the Malay Mail and Malaysiakini published several articles between Jul 31 and Aug 19 that they attributed to Pannir. The articles were purportedly of Pannir’s experience on death row and his reflection on life.
The 31-year-old was found guilty of carrying 51.84g of heroin at Woodlands Checkpoint in September 2014.
His plea for clemency has been rejected by the President, but he was granted a stay of execution in May – just a day before he was due to be executed.
Pannir and his family were notified in letters that the President had rejected his clemency petition and the scheduled date of his execution, just a week in advance of his execution.
In granting the stay of execution, Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon said that Pannir should “have a reasonable opportunity to take advice on whether he can mount a successful challenge”.
Singapore has received three requests from Malaysia to intervene in executions since the Pakatan Harapan government came into power a year ago, two of which were for drug traffickers, said Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam in May.
However, it is “not tenable to give a special moratorium to Malaysians” while imposing it on everyone else, he added.
His comments had come after Malaysia’s Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Liew Vui Keong said that he had liaised with his counterparts in Singapore and was “pleased to know of the stay of execution” for Pannir.
Last month, Mr Shanmugam said in a written reply to a question in Parliament that the Ministry of Home Affairs was reviewing the procedure which notifies death row inmates of their clemency outcome and execution date.