Statement in Response to Media Queries

05 Aug 2022

1. The capital sentences of death imposed on Abdul Rahim Bin Shapiee ("Abdul Rahim") and Ong Seow Ping ("Ong") were carried out on 5 August 2022.

2. Abdul Rahim, a 45-year-old Singaporean, was convicted of possessing not less than 39.87 grammes of diamorphine, or pure heroin, for the purpose of trafficking. Ong, a 49-year-old Singaporean, was convicted of having in his possession not less than 51.69 grammes of diamorphine, or pure heroin, for the purpose of trafficking.

3. The total amount of drugs which Abdul Rahim and Ong were separately convicted of possessing for the purpose trafficking was therefore 91.56 grammes of diamorphine. This amount is sufficient to feed the addiction of about 1,090 heroin abusers for a week.

4. Abdul Rahim and Ong were both convicted after trial and sentenced to capital punishment on 15 March 2018. They appealed against their convictions and sentences, and the Court of Appeal dismissed their appeals on 5 March 2020. Their petitions to the President for clemency were unsuccessful.

5. Abdul Rahim was also one of 17 prisoners awaiting capital punishment who filed an application on 13 August 2021, alleging discrimination against them as persons of Malay ethnicity when prosecuting them for capital drug offences. The High Court dismissed the application on 2 December 2021. The High Court also found that the application was an abuse of the process of the court.

6. Abdul Rahim and Ong were both accorded full due process under the law, and were represented by legal counsel throughout the legal proceedings detailed at [4] and [5] above.

7. After Abdul Rahim was notified of the scheduled execution on 29 July 2022, an Originating Claim (“HC/OC 166/2022”) was filed on 1 August 2022 for which he was one of 24 claimants. The claimants, all of whom were prisoners awaiting capital punishment, claimed that the provisions in the Criminal Procedure Code 2010 (“CPC”) which empower the Courts to impose costs against defence counsel were unconstitutional, as they obstructed the claimants from appointing counsel to review or challenge their convictions and sentences. The claimants also sought damages against the Attorney-General for breach of statutory duty to allow the claimants access to justice, counsel and legal advice.

8. On 3 August 2022, the High Court struck out HC/OC 166/2022. The High Court held that where costs orders have been made, these have been in the context of improper applications that were not made bona fide. The costs provisions in the CPC are unlikely to deter counsel from providing bona fide legal advice and representing their clients in good faith in making appropriate applications if necessary. The High Court also found that there was no legal or factual basis for the claim against the Attorney-General for breach of statutory duty. HC/OC 166/2022 was plainly unsustainable and unmeritorious.

9. The 24 claimants filed an appeal against the High Court’s decision later that day.

10. On 3 August 2022, Abdul Rahim filed another Originating Claim (“HC/OC 173/2022”) against his former trial counsel for professional negligence in the conduct of his trial.

11. On 5 August 2022, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal by the 24 claimants against the striking out of HC/OC 166/2022. In the same hearing, the Court of Appeal also struck out HC/OC 173/2022, which it found to be an abuse of process and lacking in merit.

12. Capital punishment is used only for the most serious crimes, such as the trafficking of significant quantities of drugs which cause very serious harm, not just to individual drug abusers, but also to their families and the wider society. Capital punishment is part of Singapore’s comprehensive harm prevention strategy which targets both drug demand and supply.


Central Narcotics Bureau
5 August 2022