Lawyer to take on Singapore AGC, save Pannir’s life

Lawyer to take on Singapore AGC, save Pannir’s life

PETALING JAYA: Why is the Singapore Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) refusing to give P Pannir Selvam a certificate of substantive assistance when the latter had assisted the government in tackling drug trafficking activities, asked Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) today.

Speaking at a press conference, LFL adviser N Surendran said Singapore’s refusal to issue the certificate would send Pannir to the gallows.

He said that the certificate was crucial as it would enable the High Court to commute one’s death sentence to life imprisonment.

“Here you have the AGC holding the power of life and death in Pannir’s case.

“Not just his, many other Malaysians (caught for similar offences) also haven’t gotten the certificate and are facing the gallows,” said Surendran.

Also present by Surendran’s side were Pannir’s siblings; Angelia, Joshua and Isaac.

Pannir’s family would be challenging the Singapore AGC’s failure to issue the certificate at the island nation’s High Court.

A certificate of substantive assistance can be granted by the Singapore’s AGC to say that a person who has been convicted for drug offences has assisted the authorities.

Pannir, a convicted drug mule in Singapore, was dealt with the death penalty in 2017 for trafficking 51.84g of diamorphine at Woodlands Checkpoint on Sept, 2014.

In his bid to commute his death sentence, Pannir had assisted the Singaporean authorities by giving vital information on Malaysian-based drug kingpins.

Pannir was supposed to be hanged on May 24, until he was granted a last-minute stay of execution on May 23 by the Singapore’s Court of Appeal, allowing the former to exhaust his clemency process.

His hearing is scheduled for July 19.

Training his guns at the Singapore’s AGC, Surendran criticised the attorney general for not giving any reason on why he refused to grant Pannir the certificate.

“We are very clear, and the facts are clear from Pannir’s assistance, he was duped by Malaysian-based kingpins at the time.

“We have the names, details, and all information which has been given to the Singaporean authorities,” he said.

Surendran also pointed out that there were flaws in the process of Pannir’s appeal for clemency from the Singapore President.

For example, the letter from the President’s Office that Pannir’s application for clemency has been rejected and the prison authorities’ letter that Pannir would be executed were issued on the same day.

“Both letters from the president and the prison authorities saying his clemency application has been rejected are dated May 17.

“This indicates a serious flaw as surely the prison authorities would not know the clemency application has been rejected when the letter from the President’s Office has not been issued out yet,” said Surendran.

On related matter, Pannir’s sister Angelia urged the public to sign a petition at to garner support for their cause.

She also said that her brother was kind and helpful man, a quality that became his undoing as drug traffickers manipulated him to transport drugs.

“He is always very helpful to those in need and people have taken advantage of his kindness.

“This is his first offence. In the five years since he was behind bars, we have had a difficult time. We had to sell some of our properties to finance our travels back and forth to visit him,” said Angelia.