UPDATE: Funding for #SaveJabing

When we heard that Jabing’s clemency petition had been rejected, we launched a fundraising appeal to raise money to fly his mother Lenduk and sister Jumai to Singapore, as well as to campaign for his sentence to be commuted to life imprisonment.

We are grateful that many friends and supporters of We Believe in Second Chances and the Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign came forward to contribute towards the expenses that would be incurred in the struggle to save Jabing.

As of 16 November we have raised $4,305.


As promised, we will be releasing updates as to the funding situation, and what our expenses have been:

Flights: $844.11
We flew Jumai and Lenduk from Miri to Singapore on 26 October. When Jabing’s execution date was scheduled, we flew his cousin Juliah from Miri to Singapore so that she could provide support to both Jumai and Lenduk. When Jabing’s execution was stayed, we flew Juliah home to Miri so that she could get back to work. We have also flown Jumai, Lenduk and a representative from Second Chances to Kuala Lumpur to engage with Malaysian human rights groups and campaign in Malaysia.

Accommodation: $1,151.24
We booked the family accommodation in a hostel in Singapore, and had to extend their stay in the hostel a few times.

Other travel costs: $213.05
These costs include taxi costs that were incurred in the course of the campaign, such as taxi rides to meetings with lawyers, or to court. Some compensation was also given to volunteers in the event they had to take a taxi to the hostel to meet the family, or had to go home late at night after meetings.

Food and other expenses: $1,135.88
This includes meals as well as other expenses such as medication for Lenduk, top-ups for SIM cards and an allowance to the family for their needs while in Singapore.

Legal: $20
Although Mr Chandra Mohan is taking on Jabing’s case pro bono, we are hoping to cover other legal expenses such as the costs that come with swearing affidavits, filing fees, photocopying and other administrative costs.

For Jabing: $174.60
This is for costs incurred that are directly related to Jabing, such as the clothing that the prison wanted his family to buy for his pre-execution photo shoot.

We still have a little over $700 for the #SaveJabing campaign and for his family. We anticipate more costs in terms of flights – in case other trips to Malaysia are required for the campaign – and accommodation, as well as legal costs and other expenses.

If you would like to support our efforts, please get in touch with either Second Chances (contact@secondchances.asia) or the Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign (rachelabsinthe@gmail.com) to find out how you can donate/contribute to the campaign.

Apart from contributions to these running expenses we are also accepting pledges in case the worst happens and we do not succeed in saving Jabing. In that case, the family might require assistance in terms of funeral/repatriation costs. Pledging means that you are allowing us to call on you and rely on the amount you have pledged when the need arises.

#SaveJabing: The families of death row inmates

Lenduk sat on the sofa, tired and dejected. It’d been a tough day, having to sit through another meeting once again discussing potential funeral arrangements even though she’d only just been to visit her son in Changi Prison.

“Do you think your mother would like to speak to a counsellor?” we asked Jumai.

“I think she would like to speak to Inah. She helped us the last time and spoke with my mother. Her brother’s cell is next to Jabing’s.”

I rang Inah this evening while on the way to meet Jumai and Lenduk for dinner. She was still in the office. “We’re going to meet for dinner, feel free to join us if you like. They were hoping to meet you today,” I said.

Inah was there within the hour.

It was the first time I’ve seen Lenduk smile. Jumai stretched out her arms to give Inah a hug, then broke down completely. They held each other for awhile, crying. Perhaps they were crying for both their brothers. Across the table Lenduk dabbed her eyes with a tissue, then pressed her face into Inah’s shoulder when it was her turn for an embrace.

There is no one who can understand the stress and anxiety that Jumai and Lenduk have been through like the family of another inmate. Inah’s brother, Roslan, is also on death row under very problematic circumstances. She has been trying for years to save him.

People like Inah, Jumai and Lenduk are not usually the people we think of when we talk about victims, but they are victims too. They have committed no crime, yet suffer the pain and turmoil of losing a loved one through one of the most deliberate ways a person can be killed. They know that the gallows are looming, yet are often limited in the things they can do to snatch their loved one from the brink.

There is no support for the families of death row inmates. There is often no sympathy at all, as society turns its back on their family member, and by extension, on them. If the relative on death row is the sole breadwinner of the family, it becomes even harder for the family to emerge from poverty. When the execution is done, it is the family who bears the cost of death rites, the emotional trauma of loss, and perhaps even the financial and practical support needed in their lives.

It is only natural then that people start to look out for each other, meeting at Changi Prison and exchanging words of encouragement, signing one another’s petitions to plead for clemency, or simply being together in shared anguish. While working with the families of death row inmates in difficult times we have seen moments of generosity, solidarity and care that is simultaneously heartbreaking and uplifting.

One might say, “Yes, they suffer, but the families of the victims their relatives murdered or caused to die suffer too.”

But how does capital punishment support the families of victims, whether they’re victims of crime or of state violence? The sufferings and marginalisation of families of death row inmates do not alleviate the struggles of the families of murder victims. Neither side can access the social, emotional and financial support needed to rebuild their lives after tragedy strikes – it is simply assumed that the death penalty will restore the balance and bring the matter to a close.

Does the pain of one family really cancel out the heartbreak of another? Or does capital punishment simply leave victims on all sides?

For a Singapore without the death penalty.