Mercy for Kho Jabing: An open letter to the Cabinet

jabingDear distinguished Ministers,

We are writing this letter of appeal for Kho Jabing, whose petition for clemency was rejected on 19 October 2015. We urge the Cabinet to reconsider his clemency in light of the fact that there was no unanimous decision even at the highest court of the land, and our learned judges were split in their opinion of whether the death penalty was appropriate in his case.

We also seek the compassion of the Cabinet for the family of Jabing, who have gone through much suffering since his original sentencing. His father passed away shortly while Jabing’s case was ongoing, and Jabing’s sister Jumai believes that her father’s illness prior to his death was due to Jabing’s incarceration, which came as a great blow for him. His mother, who has been unable to work due to health reasons, has lost both her sources of financial support and has been living on the goodwill of her neighbours and minimal state welfare ever since then.

On top of her ill-health, the thought of losing Jabing, her only son, is too much for his mother to bear. We cannot imagine the effect of his death will have on her wellbeing.

We understand the grievousness of his offence but hope that he will be given a second chance and a more meaningful way to atone for his crime.

We hope that our Ministers will be compassionate and consider all factors related, especially the impact of capital punishment on Jabing’s family, and exercise mercy by commuting his death sentence to that of life imprisonment.

Yours sincerely,

Singapore Working Group on the Death Penalty


The Singapore Working Group on Death Penalty comprises the Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign, We Believe in Second Chances and Think Centre. All three organisations are also members of the Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN).