Kuala Lumpur, Nov 27 — Malaysia has requested the discretion of the authorities in Singapore to grant Presidential clemency to Malaysian detainee Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam, who has been sentenced to death for smuggling drugs into the island republic.
On Tuesday, the Dewan Rakyat was told that the country’s monarch, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah had written to the President of Singapore in an attempt to appeal for clemency for the Malaysian national, asking the President to reduce his sentence or to release him.
According to deputy foreign minister, Kamarudin Jaffar “We tried all we could to help and I can reveal that apart from the foreign minister and the Prime Minister, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had also written to the Singapore president for the sentence to be reduced for a certain case, or the individual to be freed.”
Kamarudin said this when winding up the Supply Bill 2022 at the committee stage in reply to Kasthuri Patto (PH-Batu Kawan) who had asked what was Putrajaya’s plan to uphold human rights in the country.
Kasthuri further thanked Foreign Minister Dato Saifuddin Abdullah and the ministry of foreign affairs for intervening in Nagaenthran’s case.
Previously, Saifuddin stated that Malaysia respects Singapore’s legal process and is still awaiting the decision of the country’s authorities.
“In this case, I have to repeat, we can apply, through our means, (by) sending a letter, but we cannot interfere in terms of the affairs and legal processes in Singapore.”
Asked about the letter he sent to Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan regarding the case, Saifuddin said he has yet to receive a reply.
Nagaenthran was arrested by Singaporean authorities on April 22, 2009, for smuggling 42.72g of diamorphine into the city-state. He was sentenced to death by the High Court of Singapore on Nov 22, 2010.
The appeal process through the court has already been made by Nagaenthran’s lawyer up to the final stage, which is through the application for presidential clemency.
However, the application was rejected on June 1, 2020, and Nagaenthran was due to be executed on the 10th of November.
However, a Singapore court stayed until further notice the execution of Nagaenthran on the grounds of “common sense and humanity” after confirming he had tested positive for Covid-19.
Nagaenthran’s appeal is now scheduled for Nov 30th, following the stay of execution granted.
Saifuddin said the foreign ministry through the Malaysian High Commission in Singapore would continue to monitor the progress of the case and is providing the appropriate consular assistance to Nagaenthran and his family.