We'll never give up, says Kho Jabing's sister


By YU JI

KUCHING: "Never give up." That's the message from Kho Jumai — the sister Kho Jabing (pic) -- who is still fighting for the Sarawakian murder convict to be spared from the gallows on Friday.

At a tearful press conference in Singapore this week, Jumai told the world's media she was not giving up on her brother's clemency appeal to Singapore President Tony Tan.

"What I have done has not been easy. I cannot give up and will never give up although the date is near. If anyone has a problem like my brother's, this is my message to you: Never give up," Jumai said.

Unless the Singapore President grants clemency, Jabing will be executed tomorrow at dawn.

Jabing, 31, received a letter from the Singapore Prison Service on May 12 informing him that his execution had been scheduled. He was convicted of murder in 2011.

"I hope the President will give him a second chance. I myself have children so I know how my mother feels. If my children were not with me, I will be thinking of them. My brother could be hanged and be gone forever. My mum will never see him again," Jumai said.

The sister called on those with family and friends in prison to try their best to help inmates, saying "everyone in prison misses someone”. 

"I know it's not easy but we try your best."

Jabing's mother Lenduk had much less to say during the press conference, having been the centre of attention of so many prior ones.

"I have done everything I can to help my son, like going to Kuala Lumpur and being at press conferences. I am not educated and I don't know if my appeals have been heard. I truly apologise for what my son has done," Lenduk said.

As recently as early this month, it was assumed Jabing could have at least three more months pending a fresh clemency petition.

"However, it has come to our attention the President, while acknowledging Kho's (Jabing) intention to file a new clemency petition, has taken the position that his decision to reject the previous clemency petition in October 2015 still stands," said a joint press released by human rights activists last week.

The press release issued by We Believe in Second Chances and the Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign. Co-signees include Amnesty International and the Sarawak Advocates Association.

The campaigners point out Jabing's case has been traumatic due to amendments made to Singapore’s mandatory death penalty and appeals lodged by the prosecution.

"Jabing had, over the years, been sentenced to death, then life imprisonment (with caning), then death again. This back-and-forth has taken a horrific toll not just on Jabing as the inmate, but his family."
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