M'sian drug trafficker accorded full due process under law, PM Lee & Vivian Balakrishnan tell M'sian counterparts

Malaysian leaders previously made appeals.

Sulaiman Daud | November 12, 2021, 04:52 PM

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There will in all likelihood be no special intervention by the Singapore government in the case of Nagaenthran A/L K Dharmalingam, a Malaysian drug trafficker on death row, following appeals made by Malaysian leaders to their Singaporean counterparts.

A terse press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Nov. 12 read:

"Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan have replied to their Malaysian counterparts to convey that Nagaenthran A/L K Dharmalingam has been accorded full due process under the law."

Appeals by Malaysian leaders

Previously, Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob wrote to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, seeking leniency.

According to Malaysian news agency Bernama, Ismail Sabri asked the Singapore government to look into staying Nagaenthran's execution.

The appeal also sought a fresh application for presidential clemency for the convicted drug trafficker.

However, according to Malaysiakini, Ismail Sabri stressed he had no intention of interfering in Singapore's laws, but personally appealed for leniency on “humanitarian grounds”.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah also wrote to Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan to ask for "discretion."

Malay Mail reported that Malaysia has "requested for the discretion" of the Singapore authorities to grant presidential clemency to Nagaenthran.

However, he added that while he has sent a message, Malaysia respects Singapore's legal processes and "cannot interfere".


Nagaenthran, a Malaysian drug trafficker, has been convicted and sentenced to death.

He was initially scheduled for execution on Nov. 10, but it was delayed after he tested positive for Covid-19.

Nagaenthran has an IQ of 69, and individuals who score below IQ 70 are internationally recognised as having an intellectual disability.

The Singapore courts have found that Nagaenthran "knew what he was doing" when he committed the offence, the Singapore government has said in a previous statement.

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Top image from PM Lee and Ismail Sabri Yaakob's Facebook pages.