Prabu Pathmanathan was executed in Singapore in the early hours of Oct 26.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (Madpet) has called on the Singapore government to follow in the footsteps of Malaysia in its efforts to abolish death penalty as Asean countries strive towards making Asean a death penalty free region.

A Madpet activist, Charles Hector, expressed disappointment over Singapore’s execution on 31-year-old Malaysian Prabu Pathmanathan for a drug offence in 2017 this morning, saying that Singapore is one of the four countries in this region still conducting execution.

At dawn today, Prabu was sentenced to death for committing several acts preparatory to and for the purposes of trafficking 227.82g of heroin into the island state on Dec 31, 2014. He was one of a possible four who were executed this week.

Hector said Singapore should immediately follow Malaysia and abolish the death penalty “as we strive forward for a more caring and civilised Asean where there is no more death penalty and torture”.

“Singapore also needs to become a more caring and civilized nation, and do away with this archaic ‘death penalty’ like Malaysia, which has already made the decision to totally abolish the death penalty and the bill is in the process of being passed.

“It is believed that there may have already been about eight executions to date and Madpet hopes that Singapore would impose a moratorium on executions for the time being,” he said.

He added that Singapore Prison Service 2017 annual report showed eight people were executed in 2017, up from four in 2016, however, the actual statistics for 2018 cannot be confirmed, as Singapore continuous to be ‘secretive’ with such data.

The Malaysian government also needs to immediately identify Malaysians on death row at risk of being executed in Singapore prisons and take the necessary steps to help them before it’s too late. This is a priority, as knowledge about impending executions only comes to light at the eleventh hour and that, too, in only certain cases.