He remembers the demolished Pudu Prison and could recall the place as it was there, he both witnessed and carried out his first execution. He had performed 4 executions in Pudu before the department started to carry out the sentence in Kajang Prison.
According to The Star, his task was to handcuff the prisoner, place a hood over him, escort the condemned from their cell to the execution chamber, where their legs would be tied and the noose placed over their neck.
Basically, he did everything except pulling the lever to release the trap door.
There was a team involved, and pulling the lever was another man's job.
The gallows in Pudu Prison were very old as the trapdoor worked with a pulley system and the creaking made it all seem unreal and scary.
The hangings at Pudu Prison, as Kesavan A. Arumugam remembers, were eerie affairs. “The corridors were narrow and the lighting was dim, adding to the eeriness of the execution. There was a chill about the place.”
The execution chamber at the new Kajang prison is much brighter, works on a hydraulic system which is quieter and more efficient.
Kesavan has no regrets about carrying out the job of taking a human life. He believes what he did is for the benefit of the nation as those people who were executed had already exhausted all avenues of law, and he only did the final bit.
Since he was able to interact with the prisoners, he learnt what they had done and he did not feel bad.
Yes, the career is not for the faint hearted, as he does feel tense after each execution carried out.
Usually he would avoid people for a few days , and an adjustment of the mind was needed for him to feel better.
He has his own scary tale to tell, involving Mohd Affandi Abdul Rahman, who, along with his famous witch craft bomoh wife Mona Fandey, had been sentenced to death for the murder of Batu Talam state assemblyman Datuk Mazlan Idris.
Affandi, he says, had asked him to bring him a rose bud.
When eventually he did bring the rose bud, Affandi put it on his palm and recited a few words. And the rosebud flew round and round - He knew it is unbelievable but he saw it.
Then, Affandi asked for a bottle of water, tore the rosebud into bits, put it in the bottle and gave it to him as a magic potion.
“However, I did not want anything to do with that. And I left the bottle at the officer’s area,” he says.
Who is Mona Fandey?
Her career did not really take off, but she still managed to come up with one self-sponsored album entitled Diana and made a few television appearances. She was also a water ballet dancer during her youth.
Mona Fandey became more popular after the murder case of Batu Talam state assemblyman than she had been when she was still a pop singer. She was executed on November 2, 2001 at the age of 45, after being convicted of the murder of a politician, Datuk Mazlan Idris, in 1993.
After leaving the music business, she became involved in spiritual witchcraft activities and was known to be a bomoh, a local shaman, and began offering her services to clients, mostly from the upper-class society. She claimed to have provided politician clients with a variety of charms and talismans.
It was reported that Datuk Mazlan Idris, a state assemblyman for the constituency of Batu Talam, Pahang, wanted to boost his political career and sought the services of Mona for assistance.
The US educated Mazlan was an ambitious politician from the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party.
At that time, Mona worked with her husband Mohamad Nor Affandi Abdul Rahman, 44, and their assistant Juraimi Hassan, 31.
Mona and her husband promised to help Mazlan by giving him a talisman consisting of a cane and sbatmi headgear, which was supposedly owned by former Indonesian President Sukarno. The politician would be "invincible" if he held the talisman in return of RM2.5 million.
The couple was paid RM500,000 as deposit, and 10 land titles as surety for the remaining RM2 million by Mazlan.
Mazlan was reported missing on July 2, 1993 after withdrawing RM300,000 from a bank.
An appointment was soon made for cleansing rituals to be performed at Mona's house.
Mazlan was told to lie on the floor face up while Mona placed flowers on him. She then told Mazlan to close his eyes and wait for the money to "fall from the sky".
Juraimi, then using an axe, chopped Mazlan's head off. They also dismembered and partially skinned Mazlan's body. His body was found in 18 parts buried in a storeroom near Mona's house in Pahang.
It was alleged that the murder occurred between 10pm and 12 midnight on July 18, 1993.
After the murder, Mona was reported to have been on a shopping spree where she bought a Mercedes-Benz and had a facelift.
On July 22, 1993, police found Mazlan's body.
Mona, her husband, and Juraimi were arrested and a highly publicized trial began. They were tried in Temerloh High Court in Pahang by a 7-person jury (trial by jury was abolished from January 1, 1995).
Throughout the trial, Mona exhibited strange behaviour, appearing cheerful, constantly smiling and posing for press photographers. She dressed extravagantly with bright and colorful designs on her dress and remarked, "looks like I have many fans".
The High Court found all 3 of them guilty and sentenced them to death by hanging.
Mona and the others filed appeals to the Federal Court and in 1999 the court dismissed their appeals and upheld the death sentence.
Finally, the 3 convicts sought to obtain a pardon or clemency from the Pardons Board of Pahang, their final chance redemption. However, the board refused to give clemency.
Mona, Affandy, and Juraimi were finally hanged on November 2, 2001 at Kajang Prison. It was also reported that during Mona's execution, she uttered the words "aku takkan mati", or "I will never die", still calm and smiling.
There was wide local and even international media coverage and plenty of public interest.
Anti-death penalty movements including Amnesty International voiced their opposition to the execution of the trio.
Will the politician's nephew work with the movement?