Kho Jabing, a 31-year-old Sarawakian of Chinese-Iban ethnicity, faces the gallows for killing a Chinese construction worker with a tree branch back in 2008 during a robbery attempt. Was this even per-meditated murder? Robbery is certainly a serious crimes, but I believe that the death was an unfortunate outcome. Punished he must, but certainly not hanged to death.
In August 2013, The High Court reviewed his case, and changed his death sentence to life imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane.
But, the prosecution was not happy and appealed to the Court of Appeal, who sentenced Jabing to death in a 3-2 majority decision. [So, 2 judges out of 5 felt that Kho Jabing did not deserve to hang for his crimes]
Kho Jabing is said to be 31 in 2015 - and in 2008, he would have been only 23 or 24 years old... a very young man.
His mother Lenduk Ak Baling, 54, said that her son was not a bad person and had regretted his actions deeply."From the time he was born until he was in school he never fought with his friends, teachers or anyone else … He is not a bad person,"
It is disturbing that some Malaysian political parties and groups get interested based on the ethnicity and the religion of the person facing execution in a foreign country.
Would Prime Minister Najib do anything about saving the life of this young Sarawakian lad who certainly do not deserve to be hanged to death?
Malaysian on S'pore death row: Malaysia mulls abolishing mandatory death sentences
Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Nancy Shukri said on Sunday abolishing the mandatory death sentence is a 'priority' for her.
Currently, the matter is in the drafting state, she said, adding a bill could be presented to Parliament by March.
"We go to appeal (in Singapore) and yet we also have the same kind of law," Nancy said here on Sunday.
"The death penalty will still be there but minus (it being) mandatory, meaning we are giving the power back to the courts."
"Last year, Malaysia executed two on death row, both for murder, she said.
"The country has not executed those found guilty for drug offences for sometime. "We are keeping them in jail. We hope they get their pardons from state rulers," Nancy said.
As of this October, there are 1,022 prisoners on death row in Malaysia. Since 1998, a total of 33 have been executed in Malaysia.
On Kho, the minister said neither the Federal nor state governments have heard from Singapore since November 23, the day its court reserved judgement on the Sarawakian's bid to review his death sentence.
Malaysia and Sarawak's stand was still to urge for clemency, hoping Kho's death penalty would be converted to a life imprisonment.
However, Nancy said, because it was a murder case, "normally, they would not give any clemency".
"We'll just have to wait. The Federal Government had done its part. Now, the State Government is appealing based on humanitarian grounds.
"On record, I must say we respect the laws of another country, which is also why Malaysia is mulling abolishing mandatory death sentences."
She said Kho's case had made it clear this was "exactly the kind of situation that can put us in an awkward place" if another country were to appeal for clemency to Malaysia.
Kho, a 31-year-old Sarawakian of Chinese-Iban ethnicity, was scheduled to hang on November 6, but was awarded a temporary reprieve less than 24 hours to his execution after his lawyer filed a criminal motion at the Singaporean Court of Appeal on November 4 for remittance.
He was convicted for the murder of a construction worker in 2008.
Nancy was speaking to reporters after a charity fundraiser for the Sarawak Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Kuching yesterday.
Earlier this month, Attorney-General Tan Sri Apandi Ali said he would propose to the Cabinet that the mandatory death penalty be scrapped.
He said mandatory death sentences were a "paradox" as it robbed judges of their discretion to impose sentences on convicted criminals.- AsiaOne.Com, 29/11/2015
Kho Jabing's family pleads to Singapore for clemency
Jabing, 31, who is from Ulu Baram, Sarawak faces the gallows for killing a Chinese construction worker with a tree branch back in 2008 during a robbery attempt.
His mother Lenduk Ak Baling, 54, said that her son was not a bad person and had regretted his actions deeply.
"From the time he was born until he was in school he never fought with his friends, teachers or anyone else … He is not a bad person," she said sobbing uncontrollably at a press conference to highlight the case on Friday.
Lenduk said that she hadn't been able to sleep or eat properly since hearing that her son was going to be executed.
Jabing was scheduled to be executed on Nov 6 but received a stay the day before, after his lawyer filed a motion raising points of law about the way the case was handled.
The case will be heard by Singapore's Court of Appeal on Nov 23.
Jabing's sister Jumai Kho, 27, said that her family was initially shocked to learn that he was involved in the case.
"He isn't a bad person … he is loving and always took care of us. I hope Singapore won't give him the death penalty … He is the only brother I have," she said adding that Jabing was drunk and influenced by his friends when the incident occurred.
At the press conference, several activist groups called on Singapore president Tony Tan to grant clemency to Jabing.
We Believe in Second Chances founder Kirsten Han said that the group was troubled that Jabing would be executed for a simple majority decision by the Court of Appeal.
"No intent to kill was ever found, nor was a clear sequence of events established. The irreversible nature of the death penalty leaves absolutely no room for error," she said.
Jabing was sentenced to death in 2010 but in August 2013, following revisions to Singapore's mandatory death penalty laws, the High Court sentenced him to life and 24 strokes of the cane instead.
The prosecution challenged the decision before the Court of Appeal, which again sentenced Jabing to death in a 3-2 majority decision earlier this year. On Oct 19, Singapore president Tony Tan rejected a clemency petition before a stay of execution by the Court of Appeal. - AsiaOne.Com, 13/11/2015