SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan have replied to their Malaysian counterparts over the case of a drug trafficker on death row in Singapore, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Friday (Nov 12).
According to news agency Bernama, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob had reportedly written to Mr Lee seeking leniency in the case.
“Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan have replied to their Malaysian counterparts to convey that Nagaenthran A/L K Dharmalingam has been accorded full due process under the law,” an MFA spokesperson said in response to media queries.
Malaysian Nagaenthran Dharmalingam’s execution was stayed on Tuesday when he tested positive for COVID-19 before a last-bid attempt against his death sentence.
He was sentenced to death in 2010 for importing 42.72g of pure heroin into Singapore in 2009 in a bundle strapped to his thigh, and has since been on death row.
Lawyer M Ravi filed a court application on Nov 8 this year stating that Nagaenthran possesses the mental age of someone below 18. He argued that judicial mercy should be exercised to grant Nagaenthran a reprieve from the execution of the death sentence, pending further psychiatric examinations and reports on his mental state.
However, he was found by the trial judge not to be suffering from any degree of intellectual disability, even though it was accepted that he had borderline intellectual functioning.
The application was then dismissed, with Justice See Kee Oon stating that Nagaenthran “has been accorded due process in accordance with the law”.
Nagaenthran’s initial appeal against his conviction and sentence was dismissed in July 2011.
In February 2015, Nagaenthran filed a re-sentencing application to set aside the death sentence imposed on him, and to substitute it with life imprisonment.
The Home Affairs Ministry said in an earlier statement that Nagaenthran’s re-sentencing application was dismissed in September 2017.
His appeal was subsequently dismissed in May 2019 and his petition to the President for clemency was unsuccessful.
By : Ian Cheng – CNA