Media statement by DAP Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan and International Secretary for DAP Women Kasthuri Patto on Tuesday 2 November 2021 in Kuala Lumpur:
Call for Prime Minister Ismail Sabri in upholding the Keluarga Malaysia spirit to intervene and appeal to the Government of Singapore to stop the execution of a mentally disabled Malaysian Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam on November 10th and for his sentence to be commuted.
Malaysian man Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam was convicted of trafficking 42.72grams of heroin, slightly more than 3 tablespoons in Singapore 11 years ago and was sentenced to death, with his execution date set in 8 days time on Wednesday, 10th of November 2021.
His defence team raised the point of his mental disability and how it compromised his ability to rationalise a situation and to evaluate and gauge a risk or harm. In other words. Nagaenthran lacked the skills and ability to make risk assessments unlike you and I.
While Singapore’s tough stand on drug related offences is well-known, can an establishment execute a man, a drug mule who is mentally or intellectually disabled?
Nagaenthran was said to have been arrested in 2009 at the Woodlands Checkpoint with a bundle strapped to his leg after being assaulted and coerced by a man who threatened to kill his girlfriend. He was then diagnosed with a borderline intellectual disability with an IQ of 69.
No crime committed by any person shall be given special treatment and a free pass to walk but a man who has committed a crime, who clearly is mentally disabled, cannot and must not be executed.
According to Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN), “The defence was dismissed despite psychiatric assessment highlighting his inability to make judgements, decision making, impulse control, and ability to assess future consequences. The assessment notes that his condition was influenced by severe alcohol use disorder, severe attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and borderline intellectual functioning,”
What I am appealing to the Singaporean Government, to the President of Singapore Her Excellency Halimah Yaacob is not to forgive or free Nagaenthran but to halt his execution on November 10th and to commute his sentence.
Singapore as a nation that is a frontliner state in ASEAN in science and technology, in protecting the rights of children including affordable healthcare, in creating a safe and secure working environment for women and recently one of the top 5 safest countries in the world according to the BBC, cannot resort to executing a mentally disabled man, especially a drug mule.
A non-interference policy between countries on domestic affairs cannot be used as a rule of thumb in this case where a Malaysian man is scheduled to be executed in 8 days time.
I beg and appeal to the Government of Singapore to halt the execution of Nagaenthran and to commute his sentence. A country like Singapore must set the bar for upholding human rights, including the rights of a person with disability to be tried fairly in the eyes of the law.
The Malaysian Government through the leadership of Dato Sri Ismail Sabri as the head of the Malaysian Family or ‘Keluarga Malaysia’ must step in and appeal to the Government of Singapore to halt the imminent execution of Nagaenthran.
Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan
International Secretary for Wanita DAP