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Death Sentence

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 4 May 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the appeal by Mr. Ganapathy against sentence of death in Malaya has been heard; and if he will make a statement.

On 1st March last this man, when challenged near Rawang in Selangor by a party of special constables, showed fight and grabbed a revolver which he had in his belt. After a short struggle he was overpowered, and the revolver was found to be loaded with six rounds of ammunition. Mr. Ganapathy was charged and convicted of unlawful possession of arms and ammunition under the Emergency Regulations. Both assessors (one European and one Indian) found him guilty without retiring. His appeal to the Court of Appeal was dismissed. The Ruler in Council has declined to exercise the prerogative of mercy in his favour, and he was executed this morning.

Is the Minister aware that the announcement he has just made will be met with widespread disapproval in the Labour movement in this country as Mr. Ganapathy was a leading trade unionist in Malaya; and, further, is the Minister equally aware that this penalty of death for the carrying of arms in Malaya is something which does not conform with what he has often declared is the Western way of life, and will he therefore remember what he previously said in this particular matter?