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3:13pm 05/11/2021
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52,600 petition to save intellectually disabled drug trafficker from gallows

PETALING JAYA, Nov 5 (Sin Chew Daily) — More than 52,600 Singaporeans and Malaysians have signed a petition on Change.org appealing to the Singapore government to spare Malaysian Nagaenthran K. Dharmalingam, with an IQ of only 69, from death penalty.

Change.org also activated the feature of an automatic e-mail sent to the President of Singapore Halimah Yacob to update the latter after meeting the target of 35,000 signatures.

Singaporean Olivia Seow started the petition on Change.org to appeal for clemency for Nagaenthran, expected to be executed on Nov 10 after he was convicted of trafficking 42.72g of diamorphine in 2011.

The petition received 15,000 signatures on the third day of the launch of the petition, mainly from Singapore, said a Change.org spokesperson based in Malaysia.

However, starting Nov 1, the petition has received attention from Malaysians and has since become the most active petition in both Malaysia and Singapore, he said.

On the eve of Deepavali, the number of signatures increased sharply with 5,000 signing within short period of time.

The “Sign the Petition” and #SaveNagaenthran tags were popular searches on Twitter in Malaysia, he said.

Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah said he had written to his Singapore counterpart over the matter and the ministry would continue to monitor the progress of the case.

Nagaenthran’s application to seek clemency from the president of Singapore was rejected on June 1, 2020 after exhausting all appeal channels.

Saifuddin said he had received a letter from human rights group Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network.

DAP member of parliament Kasthuri Patto has urged the government to intervene in the spirit of Keluarga Malaysia and appeal to the Singapore government to stop the execution of Nagaenthran.

Another rights group, Lawyers for Liberty (LFL), has urged the government to make representation to the Singapore authorities to spare Nagaenthran from the gallows.

LFL adviser N Surendran expressed dismay over a statement by the Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in response to public pressure on the planned execution of Nagaenthran.

“However, the MHA deliberately sidesteps the fact that the court also found that Nagaenthran suffers from borderline intellectual functioning and ADHD; has an FSIQ score of 69; and that his executive functioning skills are impaired.

“Executing a person with any kind of mental or intellectual disability is in breach of customary international law. It is also inhumane and sickens everyone who hears about it,” he said in a statement.

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