Death Penalty Delivers Violence and Cruelty, not Justice

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) offer our condolences for the family of Prabu N. Pathmanathan for their loss and condemns the execution of Prabu N. Pathmanathan by Singapore on the dawn of 26 October 2018.

The pursuit of justice through death penalty can only be described as a folly as death penalty itself does not provide for justice but merely inflict violence upon another. The pursuit of justice cannot rely solely on punitive measures but must include an opportunity to rehabilitate the offender and an opportunity for there to be reconciliation, not just for the family of victims but the greater society which the crime has harmed.

Continue reading “Death Penalty Delivers Violence and Cruelty, not Justice”


Press statement by Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser 19 Oct 2018

We expected the Mid-Term Review of the 11th Malaysia Plan (MTR11MP) to be an exposition of the new PH government’s new development strategy that would be radically different from that of the previous BN government’s. After all, the new MP for Port Dickson, Anwar Ibrahim expressed gratification that the Prime Minister Mahathir had integrated the “Reformasi” agenda into the national agenda. What radical reforms are in this review of the 11MP? Pray show us.


Malaysia: Singaporean activist deported, barred from workshop

FIDH – International Federation for Human Rights

and its member organization in Malaysia

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)

 Joint press release

Malaysia: Singaporean activist deported, barred from workshop


Kuala Lumpur, Paris, 23 June 2017: The Malaysian government must immediately lift the travel ban imposed on Singaporean activist Han Hui Hui, FIDH and its member organization Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) urged today.

FIDH and SUARAM condemn the Malaysian authorities’ decision to deport Ms. Han back to Singapore and prevent her from participating in a human rights workshop in Kuala Lumpur.

“Malaysian authorities treated Ms. Han as if she were a dangerous criminal. The travel ban imposed on Ms. Han limits her rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and must be lifted immediately,” said FIDH President Dimitris Christopoulos.

On 18 June 2017, Immigration Department officers at Kuala Lumpur International Airport prevented Ms. Han from clearing immigration and detained her for several hours. During the detention, plainclothes officers informed Ms. Han that she was blacklisted from entering Malaysia.

When a lawyer provided by SUARAM asked the immigration officers to provide the legal basis on which they relied to ban Ms. Han from entering Malaysia, the officers said the ban was issued under Article 8(3)K of the 1959/63 Immigration Act. The provision states that immigration authorities are authorized to bar any person who is deemed by the Home Affairs Minister to be “an undesirable immigrant” from entering the country.

Ms. Han had been invited to attend the Regional Youth Exchange Program organized by SUARAM from 19 to 23 June in Kuala Lumpur.

At 7:40pm, Ms. Han agreed to be deported back to Singapore. She boarded a flight back to the city-state at 9:45pm. During her five most recent visits to Malaysia, from April 2015 to the latest on 12 May 2017, Ms. Han did not encounter any problems entering the country.

“It is a sad state of affairs when the Malaysian government declares an activist persona non grata and prevents her from attending a human rights workshop. Ms. Han must be removed from the blacklist immediately and allowed to engage in peaceful human rights activities that are beneficial to Malaysians,” said SUARAM Executive Director Sevan Doraisamy.

In Singapore, Ms. Han has actively campaigned to promote government transparency and accountability, and for the respect of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly. On 22 February 2017, Ms. Han was imprisoned for several hours in the Singapore State Courts lock-up on charges of causing a public nuisance under Article 290 of the Singaporean Criminal Code over a peaceful demonstration she had organized in September 2014.

Press contacts:

FIDH: Mr. Andrea Giorgetta (English) – Tel: +66886117722 (Bangkok)

FIDH: Ms. Audrey Couprie (French, English) – Tel: +33143551412 (Paris)

SUARAM: Mr. Sevan Doraisamy (English, Malay) – Tel: +60169708370 (Kuala Lumpur)

On the Execution of Kho Jabing

For Immediate Release
20th May 2016

On the Execution of Kho Jabing

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) strongly condemns the execution of Kho Jabing by the Government of Singapore on the 20th May 2016.

Despite the unanswered concerns regarding the impartiality of the appeal proceeding, the Government of Singapore have refused to answer the public plea for clemency and unconscionably carried out the sentence at 3.30PM after the dismissal of Kho Jabing’s appeal on the morning of 20th May 2016.

The concerns that Kho Jabing’s right to fair trial was violated was affirmed when Justice of Appeal, Andrew Phang failed to recuse himself and sat as part of the coram of judges who heard his motion on the 19th May 2016. SUARAM would like to reiterate the importance of an impartial tribunal especially in cases involving the use of capital punishment and remind the Government of Singapore the importance of the notion that justice need not only be done, but seen to be done. The failure to ensure justice had been done in this case would forevermore tarnish Singapore’s ability to provide a fair trial for those seeking justice in its legal system.

Further, the doubt as to whether Kho Jabing the prosecution had adequately proved the necessary mens rea for Kho Jabing’s act to tantamount to murder expressed by some of the presiding judges during the trial should have been taken into account during the sentencing. Despite the existing doubts, the death sentence was still imposed on Kho Jabing. The failure to account for this clearly violates the recognized international norms where capital punishment can only be imposed when the crime meets the threshold of ‘most serious crimes’.

In light of these concerns, the refusal to provide for a stay of execution and the apathy shown by Government of Singapore in regards to the plea for clemency by the family and members of the public can only be described as callous and unconscionable to say the least.

The death penalty does not provide justice and in this case it has caused a great injustice to the family of the deceased. This execution also marks Singapore departure from the norms of developed states where the use of capital punishment has been gradually phased out. The insistence that capital punishment remain a facet of its criminal justice system clearly show its disinclination to join the rank of developed country in regards to its recognition of human rights. SUARAM reiterate our stance that the use of capital punishment must be abolished and call upon governments which still endorses the use of capital punishment to re-examine the use of capital punishment and instate a moratorium on it immediately!

In Solidarity,
Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director

Malaysian faces execution in Singapore: calling for Clemency for Kho Jabing

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Malaysian faces execution in Singapore: calling for Clemency for Kho Jabing

Roughly half a year ago, civil societies in Malaysia and Singapore came together to appeal for clemency for Kho Jabing, a Sarawakian on death row in the island state who was recently rescheduled for execution.

On the 13th May 2016, the family was notified that Kho Jabing will be executed on the 20th May 2016. This came as a shock to the family and activists who have campaigned for Kho Jabing’s clemency. Kho Jabing was convicted of murder and sentenced to the mandatory death penalty on 30 July 2010. However, after the 2012 review of the mandatory death penalty laws, on 14 August 2013 the High Court resentenced Kho Jabing to life imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane. On 14 January 2015, the Court of Appeal re-imposed the death penalty on Kho Jabing in a three-to-two split decision. A last minute appeal admitted on 3 November, three days before his scheduled execution, was dismissed on 5 April 2016.

Kho Jabing and his family have already endured the distress of facing an imminent execution and we are urging the authorities of Malaysia to leave no stone unturned and do their utmost best to advocate with their Singaporean conterparts to spare them further suffering..

In light of these information and the concerns raised last year, we implore the President of Singapore to give due consideration to the aforementioned issues relating to Kho Jabing’s case and grant clemency for Kho Jabing. At the very least, the scheduled execution should be set aside pending the appeal that Kho Jabing’s lawyer intend to submit.

Once again, we implore those in power to take swift action and ensure that this injustice is put to an end. Failure to take swift action to safeguard Kho Jabing’s right would only bring about more unnecessary grief to the family and needless taint on Singapore’s human rights records.


Amnesty International Malaysia

D-2-33A, 8 Avenue
Jalan Sungai Jernih 8/1, Section 8
46050 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan
T: +603 7955 2680
F: +603 7955 2682
E: [email protected]
Twitter: amnestymy

Civil Rights Committee, KLSCAH

No 1, Jalan Maharajalela
50150 Kuala Lumpur
T: +603 2274 6645
F: +603 2272 4089


433A, Jalan 5/46, Jalan Gasing Indah
46000 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan
T: +603 – 7784 3525
F: +603 – 7784 3526
E: [email protected]
Twitter: SUARAM Tweets