Malaysian executed in Singapore despite pleas for clemency

Migrant worker hanged at Changi Prison after being convicted of murdering construction worker
Malaysian executed in Singapore despite pleas for clemency

A file image of Singapore's Changi Prison, where Michael Garing was hanged on March 22 for murder. (Photo by AFP) reporter, Kuala Lumpur
March 22, 2019
A Malaysian convicted of murder in Singapore has been executed in the city state despite an appeal by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and others to spare his life on humanitarian grounds.

Michael Garing, 30, a migrant worker from Sarawak, is the second Malaysian to be hanged in the neighboring nation since Malaysia announced last year that it would follow international conventions and abolish the death penalty in its reform drive.

The Malaysian embassy in Singapore said in a statement that Michael’s execution took place at Changi Prison on the morning of March 22.

“His remains are expected to arrive at Sibu Airport tomorrow before being brought back to his hometown in Kapit,” an embassy spokesman told Malaysian news agency Bernama. “We are currently assisting Michael’s family members who are here.”

His parents, Ensiring anak Garman and Garing anak Kanyan, sent a clemency petition to Singapore President Halimah Yacob asking her to spare their son’s life by commuting his sentence to life imprisonment, Malaysian media reported.

Michael, who was 21 when the crime took place, was convicted of being part of a four-man gang involved in a series of muggings one night in May 2010 which led to the death of 41-year-old construction worker Shanmuganathan Dillidurai. Three others were severely injured.

Fellow accused Tony Imba was jailed for life with 24 strokes of the cane, while Hairee Landak, was sentenced in 2013 to 33 years’ imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane. Donny Meluda, who was arrested six years later, was given a similar sentence in 2018.

Before Mahathir’s reformist government took over last year, both countries had pursued a policy of capital punishment for serious crimes including murder and drug trafficking since the days of British colonial rule.

Michael converted to Islam in prison and chose Muhammad Arif Sufi as his Muslim name, according to the embassy spokesman.

Malaysian Prabu Pathmanathan, 31, was hanged in Singapore in October 2018 after being convicted of smuggling heroin.

Malaysia announced last September that it would abolish the death penalty. There is a moratorium on the punishment in the multicultural, Muslim-majority Southeast Asian nation.

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