Nagaenthran Case – Was The Singapore Gov’t Being Stubbornly Arrogant?

Undated handout photo shows Nagaenthran Dharmalingam holding his nephew in Ipoh, Malaysia.

Mentally disabled Nagaenthran was hanged to death at Changi Prison despite being assessed by a court-appointed psychologist in 2013 to have an IQ of 69

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysian International Humanitarian Welfare Foundation (MIHWF) slammed the Singapore government as “stubbornly arrogant” over the execution of Malaysian citizen Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam.

MIHWF President M.Devman in a statement on Friday (29 April) rebuked the government down south for being overzealous in exerting its notorious ‘rule by law’ stance without any remorse or compassion for a mentally unstable person.

He pointed out that Nagaenthran was a young man when he was caught with drugs in Singapore and spent some 13 years in jail before he was hanged to death.

“Nagaenthran had actually served the imprisonment as a punishment for his crime.

“He was reportedly a person with a mental disability.

“The international civil society sought clemency for Nagaenthran.

“He should have been forgiven and released.

“The young man should have been given a fresh lease of life.

“The Singapore government should have shown mercy.

“But it chose to remain defiant and stubbornly arrogant, overzealous in imposing its rule by law policy.

“What a disgrace,” chided Devman

He reminded the Singapore government that the status of a so-called developed nation was not just about the country’s capitalist economic strength.

“A developed nation must also have a strong humanely compassion.

“In this regard, Singapore has downgraded itself .”

MIHWF President MDevman pic reminded the Singapore government that the status of a so called developed nation was not just about the countrys capitalist economic strength but must also have a strong humanely compassion

Nagaenthran Was Hanged Despite International Criticisms

Nagaenthran was arrested by Singapore authorities on 22 April 2009 at age 21 for trafficking 42.72 g of diamorphine (pure heroin) when he was travelling from Malaysia to Singapore through the Woodlands Checkpoint.

Nagaenthran was tried and found guilty on 22 November 2010 of drug trafficking and sentenced to death by hanging by the Singapore courts.

Multiple appeals over the sentence had been dismissed in the city-state’s courts.

On Wednesday, April 27, 2022, at around dawn, Nagaenthran was hanged to death at Changi Prison.

Nagaenthran’s death penalty attracted international criticisms due to concerns about his mental capacity.

Lawyers for the Malaysian, along with the United Nations Human Rights Office and businessman Richard Branson, had urged the Singapore government to halt the execution, arguing he was intellectually disabled after being assessed by a court-appointed psychologist in 2013 to have an IQ of 69.

Even the Malaysian king, prime minister and government ministers have appealed for clemency to the Singapore government for Nagaenthran.

But all pleas fell on deaf ears.

Singapore’s Central Narcotics Bureau defended the execution in a statement, saying that the courts had found that “Nagaenthran knew what he was doing, and that he did not suffer from intellectual disability”.

“There has been much misinformation that has been put out concerning Nagaenthran, in particular on his mental state,” the agency said.

In a statement on 25 April, the United Nations Human Rights Office expressed concern about “a rapid rise in the number of execution notices issued since the beginning of the year in Singapore”.

Singapore executed Malaysian disabled Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam who was arrested in 2009 for bringing 427 grams of heroin into the city state AFP file pic

Devman said Singapore must always bear in mind that Malaysians would be the first people to offer assistance to Singaporeans if any tragedy were to occur in the island republic.

“This is because civilised Malaysians believe in the human-first concept, not the law-first policy.

“Singapore must first learn to be a civilised nation before calling itself a developed nation,” Devman said. – New Malaysia Herald

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Aathi Shankar