Latest: Singapore single mother awaits death row in Malaysia for drug trafficking. On the pretext of a business trip to China, Iqah was handed a suitcase containing heroin arranged by her Nigerian boyfriend and was arrested by Malaysian Immigration. A campaign is underway to raise funds for the appeal. To find out more, read

We have also heard that since Vui Kong's appeal started, there has been an unofficial stay of execution for all prisoners on death row in Changi Prison, pending the decision of the court on Yong's case. As the case has been dismissed by the Court of Appeal, we anticipate a Changi gallows bloodbath in a scale not seen since the Pulau Senang uprising in 1965 when 18 men were convicted of murder and hanged in a single Friday morning.

Singapore, which routinely persecute dissenters and critics, continue to hang young drug runners while at the same time work closely with Burmese military generals, and has invested billions in business ties with Burma, one of the biggest heroin manufacturing countries the world.


If you know someone who's charged in a capital case, received the death sentence, or is on death row in Singapore and if you have have your side of the story to tell, contact us at sgdeathpenalty [at]

Thursday, March 31, 2011

“Why would he go to his death so willingly?” – Father of man on death row

Kirsten Han
“My son loves to help people,” Cheong Kah Pin tells The Online Citizen.
In fact, he believes that it is this willingness to help others that has led his son Cheong Chun Yin to where he is today – on death row in Changi Prison.
On 16 June 2008, 24-year-old Cheong Chun Yin (known to his family as “Ah Yan”) was arrested as he was getting off a taxi on Arab Street. He, together with 55-year-old Malaysian Pang Siew Fum, was charged for drug trafficking.
A suitcase that Cheong had passed to Pang at Changi Airport was found to contain 2.726kg of heroin hidden in a false bottom.
Under Schedule 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Act, any person found in possession of more than 2 grammes of heroin receives a mandatory death sentence. Under the Mandatory Death Penalty, the judge does not have the power and the duty to take into account the personal circumstances of the offender.
Both Cheong and Pang were found guilty and sentenced to death under the mandatory death penalty in February 2010.
Smuggling gold bars
In his statement and throughout court proceedings, Cheong insisted that he believed that he had been smuggling gold bars into Singapore from Myanmar.
Cheong Chun Yin
While running a DVD stall at the pasar malam in Johor he got to know an old man known as “Lau De”. “Lau De” told him that he was in the business of smuggling gold. Cheong said that he did not believe him at first, but did later when he met a man who claimed to have had just returned from a gold smuggling trip, and was decked out in gold jewellery.
“Lau De” offered to pay Cheong RM8000, with US$500 as pocket money for the trip to Myanmar, if he would carry the gold bars to someone in Singapore. Cheong, believing that it would not be difficult, agreed.
While in Myanmar, Cheong was given a black suitcase to bring in to Singapore. He said that although he did not see the gold, he felt the sides of the suitcase and got the impression that there was something hard hidden on each side. He thus assumed that the gold bars had been hidden in the lining of the suitcase.
Cheong carried the suitcase into Singapore through Changi Airport, handing it over to Pang Siew Fum in Terminal 2. He was later arrested and taken to Pang’s flat, where it was revealed that it was heroin, and not gold, that had been hidden in the lining of the suitcase.
“He did not know it was drugs,” says his father. “If we knew it was drugs, I would not have let him go. We know the penalty. Why would he go to his death so willingly?”
No financial difficulties
Cheong Kah Pin says his son was not having any financial difficulties. Between the two of them, they had been making more than enough money to get by.
After divorcing his wife, Cheong Kah Pin had also sold two houses – one in Johor and another in Ipoh. He and his ex-wife split the money, and the profit made was enough for him to purchase a new house for him and his son.
“Why would he want to traffic drugs?” he asks. “We have enough money of our own.”
In his statement to the police, Cheong said that he had agreed to smuggle gold bars because “I wanted to make more money so that I can save it up for my marriage with my girlfriend”.
He claims that he had been persuaded by “Lau De” to smuggle gold from Myanmar, and that if caught, there would only be a fine that “Lau De” would pay for. He therefore believed that it would be a relatively small risk to take.
Always happy, but too gullible
Cheong’s parents divorced in 2002, and his other three younger siblings – two sisters and a brother – went to live with their mother. He was the only child who remained with his father, and they set up a stall at the pasar malam together. After completing secondary school, he decided to help his father with the business full-time.
According to Cheong Kah Pin, his son had never mixed around with a bad crowd, preferring to return home to play computer games instead. Cheong has always had a cheerful disposition, and is incredibly willing to trust and help others.
“Oftentimes he would lend money to his friends, and they wouldn’t pay him back,” says Cheong Kah Pin. “But he would still help them if they asked.”
He tells us that even on death row, Cheong is eager to help others. “He asks me to bring music CDs when I visit him, so he can give them to the other death row inmates.”
He believes that it is his son’s gullible nature that led him to befriend and trust the people who talked him into going to Myanmar to smuggle gold bars. “He would never have knowingly trafficked drugs. He was just too eager to help people.”
Lack of search for “Lau De” deemed “immaterial”
While being questioned, Cheong repeatedly asserted that he had had no idea that the suitcase contained heroin. He also gave the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) officers the telephone numbers of “Lau De”.
However, he claims that they had done “absolutely nothing” to trace the whereabouts of this “Lau De”.
In his written judgements of the case, Judge Choo Han Teck stated that the evidence given by Cheong “did not create any reasonable doubt in my mind that he might not have known that he was carrying heroin.”
He also said that “[i]t was immaterial that the CNB did not make adequate efforts to trace ‘Lau De’ or check on his cell-phones. The absence of any trace of ‘Lau De’… was not taken as evidence in favour of or against either accused.”
Under the Misuse of Drugs Act, any person found in possession of more than the prescribed amounts is presumed to be trafficking. Furthermore, any person who is proved or presumed to have had a controlled drug in his possession shall be presumed to have known the nature of that drug. The burden of proof therefore rests on the defendant, as opposed to common law jurisdiction where the accused is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty.
A father left alone
When Cheong had first mentioned travelling to Myanmar, his father had not allowed him to go. “I told him not to go, to stay and help me with the business,” he says.
“But later I thought that he was already an adult, and I didn’t want to control him too much, so I let him go,” he adds. “If I had known, I would never have let him go.”
Cheong Kah Pin now lives and runs his business alone. Every Monday morning, he rides a motorcycle across the Causeway in to Singapore to visit his son at Changi Prison.
“How can I not be heartbroken?” he says. “This is the only son I have by my side.”
He tries to fill his days with work, going to morning markets as well as the usual night ones. Occasionally he will also seek extra factory work, helping to guard vehicles.
He says that it is not because he needs the money, but because he cannot bear to spend time alone in the house he once shared with his son. “I don’t want to stay at home, staring at the ceiling and crying,” he tells us.
“What meaning would there be left for me, if I were left alone?” he asks. “A good, healthy child, used by others because he was too gullible. Life will have no meaning for me if I were left alone.”
Awaiting presidential clemency
Cheong’s case has already progressed to the last stage: the presidential clemency. His clemency petition has already been submitted to President Nathan at the beginning of this year, and is expected to be due back by the end of April 2011. If the petition is turned down, Cheong can be expected to hang in early May.
In August 2010, in response to lawyer M Ravi’s application for a judicial review of the President’s powers in granting clemency, the Supreme Court ruled that the President has no discretion under the Constitution, and specifically under Article 22P, to grant pardons. “The power to do so rests solely with the Cabinet,”High Court Judge Steven Chong said.
Although time is running out, his father refuses to give up. “If my son was a bad person and a drug trafficker, I would have nothing to say,” he tells us. “But he is not a bad person. He really did not know he was carrying drugs. How can his life just be taken like this?”
Malaysia also practices the Mandatory Death Penalty for drug-trafficking cases. On March 18, A Singaporean single mother was found guilty of drug-trafficking and sentenced to death. TOC will provide updates soon.

Sarawak man faces second murder charge in Singapore

SINGAPORE - He is among three men charged with the murder of a construction worker in the Kallang slashing case.

Now, Tony Imba, 32, faces a second murder charge after another alleged victim, who had been in a coma, died recently.

Tony was initially accused of robbing 63-year-old Jeffrey Tan Hong and hitting him with a block of wood at a Jalan Berseh footpath near Little India on May 30 last year.

Tony and two other men allegedly killed Mr Shanmuganathan Dillidurai, a 41-year-old construction worker, on the same day.

But with Mr Tan's death, Tony now stands accused of his murder, too.

Tony and his alleged accomplices - all from Sarawak - will be back in court on May 4. They face the death penalty if convicted of murder.

Four men have already been dealt with in court for their involvement in the Kallang slashing case.

One was sentenced to two years in jail and ordered to receive six strokes of the cane. The others, who were jailed for six years, will each receive 12 strokes of the cane.

The group is allegedly responsible for a series of armed robberies in the vicinity of Sims Drive and Geylang on May 30 last year, which resulted in Mr Shanmuganathan's death and caused three others to be seriously injured.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Iqah’s story - The single mum who became an unwitting drug mule

Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign (SADPC) – Last Thursday, we visited the family and close friends of Noor Atiqah M. Lasim, a 27 year old Singaporean who was recently sentenced to death by Shah Alam’s High Court on 18 March 2011.

This is the story of Noor Atiqah, otherwise known affectionately as Iqah to her family and friends.

The beginning of the end

It was at a club in Clarke Quay around June 2008 that Iqah had her first contact with Valentine, the Nigerian who eventually led her to the state she is in today. The two started seeing each other in August the same year.

Shortly after, Valentine suggested setting up a fashion business together and they planned to embark on sourcing trips to China. It certainly sounded like a good idea to Iqah, as she was hoping that the business will help to bring about a better life for her family.

Iqah, a single mum with with her daughter

A vacation gone wrong

In December 2008, Iqah traveled to Kuala Lumpur by bus with a long time friend, with the intention to celebrate New Year’s Day. During her stay there, she received a call from Frank, who she had met in Shenzhen. Frank informed her that samples were ready and made a request for her to collect them.

Iqah refused, as she could not afford to fly to Shenzhen on such a short notice. However Frank was insistent. He promised her USD$500 upon reaching Shenzhen as well as USD$200 for her expenses in Malaysia. Eventually Iqah agreed and Frank arranged for her to meet up with Emeka, a Ghanaian, at McDonalds in Petaling Street.

When they met on 3 Jan 2009, Emeka passed Iqah a blue luggage along with a budget flight ticket to Shenzhen. Puzzled, Iqah inquired the purpose of the luggage. Emeka then informed her that the luggage was for her to store the samples.

On 5 Jan 2009, while going through the immigrations at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal in Kuala Lumpur, she was requested to have her luggage through the scanner twice. She then cooperated when asked to open her luggage for inspection, and the rest was history.

342.1 grammes of heroin and 30.3 grammes of monoacethyl were found in a brown enveloped, cleverly concealed in the luggage given to her by Emeka.

“We believe that Iqah is innocent.”

Iqah had spent time in prison since then and hence separated from her daughter. More than 2 years have passed since mother and daughter have met.

Before the final hearing on 18 March this year, her siblings were hopeful that she will be acquitted because they believe that she is innocent.

However, they were met with a shock when Judge Noor Azian Shaari delivered her sentence at Shah Alam High Court.

Among themselves, they have started a campaign for Iqah. The campaign aims to raise funds for a second legal opinion as well as to spread the word about the case. Please visit the blog to find out more about how you can help.


Vui Kong's verdict scheduled

The Singapore Court of Appeal will convene at 10am next Monday, 4th April to pass judgment on Vui Kong's appeal of the High Court's judgment on judicial review. As President SR Nathan has admitted that the powers to decide clemency for death row convicts rest on the Cabinet and not him, Vui Kong may have exhausted the last of his lifeline and his life may hinge on the decision of the CoA's verdict this coming Monday. 

We have also heard that since Vui Kong's appeal started, there has been an unofficial temporary stay of execution for all prisoners on death row, pending the decision of the court on Yong's case. If the verdict goes south, then we may well see a Changi gallows bloodbath in a scale not seen since the Pulau Senang uprising in 1965 when 18 men convicted of murdering a prison warden were hanged in a single Friday morning, 

To give Vui Kong, his family and his counsel moral support through this difficult period, please visit the official Save Vui Kong Facebook page. 


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

22 March 2011

The Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign (SADPC) wishes to express our utmost disappontment at Shah Alam High Court's decision to sentence Noor Atiqah M. Lasim to death for drug trafficking.

Noor Atiqah, a 27 year old single mother of a 6 year old girl from Singapore, was found in possession of 342.1 grammes of heroin and 30.3 grammes of monoacethyl morphine at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) on Jan 5, 2009. According to her statement as reported by the media, she claimed that the bag containing the drugs did not belong to her.

We will like to reiterate our stand against the use of the death penalty as a punishment against crimes. We implore the High Court of Shah Alam to look into this matter again, especially so when the result of the sentencing will be irreversible, leaving a young child without her mother.

Thank you.

Rachel Zeng,
Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign (SADPC) 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Singaporean mother sentenced to death in Malaysia

Noor Atiqah M. Lasim
SHAH ALAM, March 18 (Bernama) -- The Shah Alam High Court today sentenced a Singaporean single mother to death for trafficking in drugs at the Low Cost Carrier Teminal (LCCT), two years ago.

Judge Noor Azian Shaari delivered the sentence on Noor Atiqah M. Lasim, 27, after the defence failed to establish reasonable doubt on the charge under Section 39B (2) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.

The accused, who worked as a legal assistant in the republic, was alleged to have trafficked in 342.1 grammes of heroin and 30.3 grammes of monoacethyl morphine at the LCCT on Jan 5, 2009.

When delivering the decision, Noor Azian said the prosecution had proven a prima facie case against Noor Atiqah.

After evaluation of the facts and statement, the court found the accused had custody and control of the drugs and called for her defence.

According to Noor Azian, the defendant''s statement that the bag containing the drugs belonged to another person was difficult to believe and unreasonable.

Noor Atiqah, mother of a six-year-old girl, was represented by counsel Mohaji Selamat while Wan Zuraida Wan Nawan was deputy public prosecutor.


Source: Yahoo News

Sunday, March 13, 2011

16-year-old girl among eight charged with murder

Source: Yahoo Fit-to-Post

By Ewen Boey – March 12th, 2011
A 16-year-old girl is charged with the murder of a 52-year-old man. (File Photo: AFP)
A 16-year-old girl was among eight people charged in court with the murder of a man in Tiong Bahru Park.
S. Durga is believed to have been part of a group which attacked Mr Goh Ho Leong, 52, with broken bottles.
Mr Goh was unconscious when police found him in the park on Tuesday night, with injuries all over his body.
He was taken to Singapore General Hospital where he died two days later.
Mr Goh’s younger brother told local media that his older brother, who had been unemployed for about two years, received a call at around 9pm on Tuesday, before leaving his home.
The call was reportedly from a man who offered him a job as a security guard. Mr Goh took along his mobile phone and house keys, but not his wallet.
At about 1am, Mr Goh’s family received a call from the police, informing them that he had been injured and was being taken to the hospital after being found lying at the park near his Redhill home.
According to reports, the other seven accused are: Mansur Alikhan, 19, Abdul Samad Mohamed Kasim, 22, and S Karthikesu, Mohamed Fazuluddin Azeedali, Muhizin Khan, Segu Jamaldeen Nafil Mohamed and Anandraj Manimaran, all 18.
Full-time national serviceman Mohamed Ayub Jailabdeen, 27, appeared in court on Thursday with a rioting charge. His charge is expected to be upgraded to murder when the case comes up for mention on Thursday.
The other eight will be remanded until that day for further investigations. They will receive the death penalty if convicted.