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‘Executed Indian-origin Malaysian accorded full due process under law’

Family members of Malaysian national Nagaenthran K. Dharmalingam, who was executed for trafficking heroin into Singapore, peform last rites as per the Hindu custom in Tanjung Rambutan in Malaysia’s Perak district, on April 29, 2022. - Hundreds of mourners wept, read prayers and banged drums April 29 at the funeral of the mentally disabled Malaysian man whose hanging in Singapore this week sparked an international outcry.

Family members of Malaysian national Nagaenthran K. Dharmalingam, who was executed for trafficking heroin into Singapore, peform last rites as per the Hindu custom in Tanjung Rambutan in Malaysia’s Perak district, on April 29, 2022. - Hundreds of mourners wept, read prayers and banged drums April 29 at the funeral of the mentally disabled Malaysian man whose hanging in Singapore this week sparked an international outcry. | Photo Credit: AFP

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan have told their Malaysian counterparts that Indian-origin Malaysian drug trafficker Nagaenthran Dharmalingam, who was executed on Wednesday, had been accorded full due process under the law, the Channel News Asia reported.

Malaysian state news agency Bernama reported on Wednesday that Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah had sent letters to their Singapore counterparts this week asking them to "consider and to commute" Dharmalingam's death sentence.

The Singapore Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs replied on Tuesday — a day before the execution — that Dharmalingam had been accorded full due process under the law, the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Friday.

Claims of low IQ level rejected by Singapore

Dharmalingam (34), was executed after a last appeal by his mother was dismissed by the Singapore court.

Other agencies reported that Dharmalingam was “mentally disabled Malaysian man” and that he had an IQ of 69, a level recognised as a disability, and was coerced into committing the crime.

His case sparked widespread anger, with critics including the United Nations and European Union saying that hanging someone with an intellectual disability breaches international law.

However, Singapore has defended the execution, with its drug enforcement agency saying Nagaenthran “knew what he was doing” when he committed the crime and the courts had found he did not have an intellectual disability.

"Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan replied to their Malaysian counterparts on Apr 26, 2022 to convey that Nagaenthran A/L K Dharmalingam had been accorded full due process under the law," said an MFA spokesperson in response to media queries.

According to Bernama, the letters also stated the Malaysian government's "openness to discuss with the Singapore government to implement the International Prisoner Transfer Programme between Malaysia and Singapore".

This was the second time such a letter had been sent to the Singapore government.

In November last year, the Malaysian Prime Minister had written to his Singapore counterpart seeking leniency in Dharmalingam's case.

A month later in December, Singapore President Hali mah Yacob had also replied to Malaysia's King following his appeal for clemency for Dharmalingam.

( With inputs from AFP)


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Printable version | May 14, 2022 9:43:37 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/executed-indian-origin-malaysian-accorded-full-due-process-under-law/article65369428.ece