07 December 2023 :
A 76-year-old former security guard on death row was among nine men who saw their death sentences commuted to 30 years’ jail under the temporary jurisdiction accorded to the Federal Court by law, FMT reported on December 6, 2023.
A five-member review panel chaired by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat allowed the application by Jun Lam alias Chin Swee Kong under the Revision of the Sentence of Death and Imprisonment for Natural Life (Temporary Jurisdiction of the Federal Court) Act 2023.
The court also ordered that Jun’s jail term begin on Dec 3, 2006, the date of his arrest.
Also on the panel were Court of Appeal president Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim, Chief Judge of Malaya Zabidin Diah, and Justices Mary Lim and Abu Bakar Jais.
Jun, a convert to Islam, walked gingerly and had to be assisted by a prison warden when his case was called up for review.
He was arrested at KLIA on Dec 3, 2006 for trafficking 1.5kg of ketamine.
He was remanded in prison pending trial as those accused of an offence punishable by the death penalty are not allowed bail.
On Oct 10, 2008, the Shah Alam High Court convicted Jun and imposed the mandatory death sentence on him.
Jun failed in his final appeal before the Federal Court on March 20, 2014.
He has been incarcerated for 17 years and on death row for the past 15.
Deputy public prosecutor Tertralina Ahmed Fauzi did not object to Jun’s application.
Lawyer Abdul Rahid Ismail later told reporters that Jun would still have to spend another three years in jail before being entitled to release under a one-third remission of their jail term usually given to prisoners.
“We will apply for a pardon given that Jun is suffering from poor health,” he said.
Others who had their capital punishment sentences replaced with jail terms were Emmanuel Yaw Tieku of Ghana, 63; Nobies Weah Ezike of Liberia, 52; Zaiham Mislan, 48; Mohamad Che Tam, 62; Faiz Khairudin, 53; Siew Yoke Keong, 56; Wong Hong, 68; and Phung Geok Hoay, 70.
All will be freed from jail but Zaiham will receive 12 strokes of the rotan as he is still below 50 years of age.