Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam was executed early today despite efforts at both the domestic and international level to halt the death sentence handed down to him 12 years ago for trafficking 43g – about three tablespoons – of heroin into Singapore.
His family confirmed that he had been executed this morning.
His brother Navin Kumar, 22, told Reuters by telephone the execution had been carried out and said the funeral would be held in Ipoh.
Nagaenthran’s execution, which came after more than a decade spent on death row in Changi prison, followed a sustained outbreak of public disapproval for Singapore’s continued use of the death penalty as well as its decision to send him to the gallows given his mental disability.
He had an IQ of 69, a level recognised as a disability, and was reportedly coerced into committing the crime.
He was originally scheduled to be executed in November but lodged an appeal that was finally rejected by Singapore’s top court last month.
His mother’s last-ditch attempt yesterday to halt his execution was thrown out by the court which said the criminal motion filed by Panchalai Supermaniam appeared to be a “calculated attempt” to diminish the finality of the court process.
Panchalai had appeared in court herself as she was unable to find a lawyer in Singapore willing to represent her son.
“I want my son back alive,” she had said with the help of a translator.
Nagaenthran’s death sentence had sparked criticism even at the international level, with the European Union and British billionaire Richard Branson among those condemning the decision.
At home, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob were among Malaysian government leaders who had also written to Singapore authorities asking for leniency on behalf of Nagaenthran.