Singapore's pro bono heroes: Making history by winning 'hopeless' cases

Mr Singa Retnam has saved most of his drug-trafficking clients from death row, and none of his murder clients has been hanged.
Mr Singa Retnam has saved most of his drug-trafficking clients from death row, and none of his murder clients has been hanged.ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Lawyer Singa Retnam has a remarkable track record - after practising in the profession for more than 40 years, he can count on one hand the number of inmates on death row for drug trafficking that he has not managed to save.

And if he is asked about his murder cases, Mr Retnam, 80, can say with pride that none of his clients has been hanged. His volunteer work in defending death-row inmates has been honoured with the Legal Assistance Scheme for Capital Offences award, which he has won with six other legal eagles.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 20, 2019, with the headline 'Making history by winning 'hopeless' cases'. Print Edition | Subscribe