Last resort: Representatives from the group handing over a copy of the petition to Liow.
PETALING JAYA: A group calling for death row inmate Sum Yat Loy to be spared the hangman’s noose and given a royal pardon has submitted a petition to the Home Minister’s office.
Signed by 265 prominent individuals and non-governmental organisations, the group also handed over a copy of the petition to MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
Sum, a 55-year-old welder from Bentong, was sentenced to death in 2009 by the High Court for killing his wife Khee Ah Chai, then 34, in their house at Taman Cheras Perdana, Hulu Langat, in 2002.
Liow said as the Bentong MP, he was approached by the Malaysian Buddhist Counselling Association and the Bentong Businessmen Recreational Club to assist in the family’s appeal.
“Sum has been in jail for the past 12 years. I am also committed to providing assistance to Sum’s two daughters, now aged 19 and 15.
“No matter what we believe to be true of the case, we cannot ignore the fact that the two girls and his family have already suffered the consequences of his action for all these years,” he said in a statement here yesterday.
After appeals to the higher courts were denied, Sum’s family are now trying to get a royal pardon from the Sultan of Selangor.
The Prison Department has been told to hold Sum’s death sentence pending an appeal to the Pardons Board.
Liow said under the country’s justice system, Sum’s family was accorded the right to petition for the royal pardon as a last resort.
“As an elected representative of the people, it is my duty to ensure that the family is not denied their legal rights,” he said, adding that they would look to the wisdom and judgment of the Sultan to consider the merits of the case.
“We will humbly accept the royal decision, and have faith that our monarch has the best interests of the people at heart,” he said.
Goh Kim Lian, who is the lawyer assisting in the appeal, said Sum’s family had argued that it was not a premeditated murder and that he had no intentions as he only acted after his wife attacked him.
“Although it cannot be denied that Sum is culpable for his actions, it is worth noting his motivations,” she said, adding that his wife’s family had also forgiven Sum.