This is following a consideration of its Court of Appeal’s decision in May which had granted a Malaysian, Pannir Selvam a/l Pranthaman, a stay of execution.
In his written reply to a parliamentary question on the clemency petition process, Minister for Home Affairs K. Shanmugam said it has been the procedure for a prisoner and his family to receive both the notification of the clemency outcome from the President’s Office and the notification of the execution date from the Singapore Prison Service at the same time since 2016.
Shanmugam, who is also Minister for Law, was replying to written questions by Workers’ Party Member of Parliament Sylvia Lim.
Lim asked whether it is usual for the prisoner and his family to receive both the reply from President's Office on clemency and the notice of the execution date from the Prison Service at the same time.
To another question by Lim on the median and average time frame from the final appellate court decision to the date of hanging, the minister said it “is around one year, for executions in recent years.”
On whether there are guidelines as to the time within which Cabinet advice should be rendered to the President and for the President's Office to reply to the clemency petitioner, the minister said: “Each clemency petition is carefully considered on its own merits.
“There is no expressly stipulated timeline by which Cabinet’s advice should be rendered to the President or by which the President’s Office should reply to the petitioner.”
The Court of Appeal on May 23 granted Pannir’s application to stay his execution and enable him to challenge the clemency process.
In his application, Pannir among others highlighted that the letter from the Singapore President refusing clemency and the notification of execution were both dated May 17, 2019.
However, the letter notifying his family of the execution was posted out a day before.
Pannir's application was heard before Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, and two Judges of Appeal, Judith Prakash and Steven Chong, just a day before he was due to be executed.
Pannir was convicted on June 27, 2017 by the Singapore High Court of trafficking in 51.84 g of diamorphine at Woodlands Checkpoint on Sept 3, 2014.