Appeal for man on death row

April 4, 2005
Singapore Democrats

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Dear President,

I am born in India and I am uneducated. I am 60 years old now. I am a divorcee. Shanmugan is my eldest son. After 8 years of marriage, I got him. Therefore, he is a special child for me.

Before he was arrested I, Shanmugan, and his 2 sons Gopalan and Krishnan were living together (after his divorce). We were staying together happily and he was the sole bread-winner. He divorced his wife because he found out that the wife was committing adultery. He took custody of his children as he wanted to give them a good life and education. Both his sons are now 14 years old.

I am a sickly woman. 5 years ago, I went for a spine operation. Since then, I quit working and he supported the family. He was planning to buy a new house.

Till today, I would not bring myself to believe hat he traffic drugs into Singapore. When he was arrested, I felt that everything was gone. I would not eat or sleep, the worse thing happened when I realized that he was caught by the CNB. I told them that he just left us and went overseas because I didnt know what to tell them. Both of them keep trying to reach their father. That night the eldest son, Gopalan slept with phone beside him because he was still trying to contact the father. Few days later, then we told these boys about their father. They were very upset. Both Gopalan and Krishnan want their father back. They are praying that their father will come back to them because now they have only their father.

He is a good sportsman. He participated in competition and once even represented Singapore. He served army for 8 years and after that he started his jet ski business. He was doing well in the beginning and everything came to an end when he was going through his divorce. His divorce and the loss on his business make him suffer a lot in life. His interest is in water sports.

I understand that he made a mistake and he has to be punished for what he has done. But please, pardon him this once and give my son back to me. At least the number of years imprisonment will make him happy that he is alive. Please forgive him this once for his sons as well. They do not have their mother now at least the thought that their father in alive gives them the confidence to work hard in their life. They look up to their father because he is a good sportsman. He taught them some water sports too and they enjoyed their days with their father. I dont think these boys and myself could bear the separation. Please give him imprisonment, change him to a better person and give my son back to me. I make sure that he is a changed person I life. I beg you to give my son back to me. I thank you and may God bless you.

Yours truly,
Letchumi
(Shanmugans mother)

Dear President,

Im writing this petition with sadness. My father is sentenced to death by the court of law. I was totally disappointed when I heard my father was sentenced to death. My father was grown up to be a responsible person to the family. My parents are divorced. For the time being, my grandmother is taking care of me. My mother is staying in another location. If I had a situation to miss my father, I will be named as an orphan. If I miss my father, my life and studies will be affected. My life depends on your verdict. Please show mercy on him and spare his life. I have the guts to even kneel down and beg you.

Yours faithfully,
Krishnan
(Shanmugam’s 14-year-old twin son)

Dear President,

Im writing this petition to you with sadness. My father is now been sentenced to death by court of law for trafficking drugs into Singapore.

Sir, I have the guts to even kneel down and beg you, my parents are divorced. The only parent who was taking care of me was my father. I was in my fathers custody. My father was hoped to be responsible for the family and he was responsible. My father is a good jet ski rider. And he has also moved on to serve the country by joining the Army force as a combat Engineer for 8 years. My father usually wouldnt go into this wrong ways but I just had a tremendous shock when I heard my father is sentenced to death. I have a twin brother. His name is Krishnan and hes in the Normal Technical course and Im in the Normal Academic.

I have the confident that he will come back, thats why I concentrated in my studies. If Im going to miss my father, my studies and my life will be affected. I just cant imagine a life without him. If hes not with me, I will be named as a orphan and I dont have the strength to take it. Please sir…Please show mercy on him and spare his life. I will be the most happiest person if my father is at least alive for me to see him for my satisfaction. My grandmother who is my fathers mother, is now taking care of me. Shes 60 years old and he life a cannot be garented. I hope you can understand that my life depend on your decision. My mother is now separated from me. The reason for the divorce is because she was totally not a suitable person for me.

She was going on the wrong ways and she didnt took care of me well. He did see all the bad things that my mother did, but he couldnt take it. My father went to this wrong ways because of the compensation of his confidence in life and he moved onto take drugs, thinking that he can forget the bad things and feelings. But I never thought he will end up doing such an act. Please mister president, please dont take away my fathers life. Even if he is in prison alive, I will be the most happiest person. I will be the best citizen I can be and make my father and the country I live in proud. I beg upon you to spare his life. Please god, please save his life. My father does not deserve that.

Yours faithfully,
Gopalan
(Shanmugam’s 14-year-old twin son)

To see other appeal letters, including Shanmugam’s appeal petition to President S R Nathan, go to http://empower-sg.http3.net/Shanmugram.pdf. Shanmugam, a Singaporean in his mid-30s, will be hanged at the end of this month after he was convicted of possession of cannabis. His appeal was rejected by the Court of Appeal. His only recourse now is to seek a pardon from President Nathan.

Shanmugam’s mother, and Gopalan and Krishnan will be present at a public forum organised by the Open Singapore Centre:

The Death Penalty and the Rule of Law in Singapore
16 April 2005 (Saturday), 2:00 pm
Hotel Asia, 37 Scotts Road, Singapore 228229

Speakers:
1. J. B. Jeyaretnam, Chairman, Open Singapore Centre
2. M. Ravi, Lawyer
3. S. Samydorai, Executive Director, Think Centre
4. Chee Soon Juan, Secretary-General, Singapore Democratic Party

For more information about the event see article ‘Forum on death penalty and the rule of law in Singapore’ on this website.

Come and support Letchumi, Gopalan and Krishnan in their desperate bid to save their son and father’s life.