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Interview: “Pannir’s case has the potential to change the general public’s opinion towards the death penalty”


Pannir Selvam Pranthaman Learn more on the #SavePannir campaign En haut à gauche, Santesh, en bas, Angelia

For me and my family, it has been a lot of sacrifices in time and efforts. We reach out to other families in a similar situation and we try to do our best for them, too.



Santesh: The launch went well. We are thankful to the media that covered the launch, around 50 people were present during the event. We received very good feedbacks, a lot of compliments, support and encouragements to continue advocating for this cause. The press was quite surprised and curious about the movement, I have been asked whether this launch involved any political figure, but I am yet to receive any comment from the government!

Angelia and Santesh: The issue lies in the perception: we tend to think that by having the death penalty, criminal will be deterred from crime, even if in the facts, the death penalty doesn’t help in decreasing the crime rate. We hope to address this issue through the song that has been released and through the other ones that are yet to come. The second issue is bureaucracy: sometimes, the will to change is there, but achieving it is long and difficult. Malaysia ratified the UN moratorium on executions, this means they are positive about putting an end to this practice, but we are still far from turning it into a priority. I think we need to urge the members of parliament to speak up about this issue, so we can go further in the fight. These are the two major issues we are facing, especially in Malaysia. 

Angelia: We want to advocate for the abolition of the death penalty as a whole in Malaysia, because we want the country to set an example for the other south-eastern Asia countries, particularly our neighbor countries like Singapore, Indonesia and Myanmar. First, we are inclined to continue the dialogue with de media and the authorities on this issue. 

Santesh: The second action for us is to approach every member of the parliament. There are 222 of them, and we want each of them to tell us if they are in favor of the abolition of the death penalty. If they are in favor, it is great, if they aren’t, we want them to explain why.



Angelia: Continuing on what Santesh mentioned, we are trying to collect some data around the tendency regarding the abolition in the parliament. The name of those who are in favor will be highlighted in green on the website. The aim is to start a conversation among the MPs to abolish the death penalty. Of course, we are also trying to keep publishing the work of Pannir because his case has the potential to change the general public’s opinion towards inmates on death row or in prison, because he is a piece in a much bigger puzzle. If there are other gifted inmates, we will push to bring their talent out to the world, as well.

Pannir Selvam’s latest single, Bukan Sekadar Hikayat was released in September 2021! This time, the lyrics are performed by the committed Malaysian rapper Saint T.F.C. Listen it on your favorite listening platform!


What is the current situation of Pannir Selvam? On November 26, 2021, Pannir lost his last appeal and his case was dismissed, despite the fact that Pannir has assisted the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) by providing information that led to the arrest of a Singaporean man with drug cartel connections, the CNB still denied issuing Pannir the Certificate of Substantive Assistance, which would have reduced his sentence from the death penalty to life in prison.


Today, only a presidential clemency could save Pannir. To help him, sign the petition.