M’sia Postpones Execution Of Filipino Convicted Of Murder In Sandakan

Ejah, second right, discussing with his counsel Hamid, right, after proceedings in Sandakan in September 2011. – Photo credit The Borneo Post

MANILA: Malaysian authorities postponed the scheduled execution on Friday of a Filipino convicted of murder in Sabah following a last-minute appeal from the Philippine government.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said on Saturday that the execution of Ejah bin Jaafar was ordered postponed by Tun Juhar Haji Mahiruddin, the Sabah Governor, following a last-minute appeal from the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

“We would like to thank the Governor of Sabah for responding to the repeated appeals of the Philippine Government on behalf of the family of Jaafar,” Peter S. Cayetano, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan said in a statement published in Global Nation Inquirer Saturday.

According to Charles Jose, the Ambassador to Malaysia, the Sabah governor decided to refer Ejah’s case back to the Sabah Pardons Board, which Mahiruddin heads, for review.

Jose said the Embassy has been making appeals since 2015 for Malaysian authorities to spare the life of Ejah and commute his sentence.

The DFA said the prison has already been informed of the governor’s decision.

The DFA said the decision following the December meeting by the Sabah Pardons Board would be final “without any further possibility of appeal.”

Ejah was found guilty by the Sandakan High Court of murder in September 2006 and was meted the capital punishment in 2009. This decision was affirmed by both the Court of Appeals on September 19, 2011 and by the Federal Court on September 11, 2013.

The DFA said it has extended legal assistance in all stages of the trial and the Embassy left no stone unturned to provide assistance to Ejah, including regular prison visits. His family was also able to visit him through the assistance of the DFA.

“The Department stands ready to provide any further assistance to Ejah and his family,” Cayetano was quoted as saying.

On March 6, 2009, High Court Judicial Commissioner Yew Jen Kie imposed the death sentence on Ejah after finding him guilty of murdering Hajan Jaiman, 37, at an unnumbered house in Kampung Muhibbah, Mile 1/2 , Jalan Utara in Sandakan.