Richard Branson calls on Singapore to spare Nagaenthran’s life

PETALING JAYA: Billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson has joined the voices calling for the Singapore authorities not to carry out the execution of Malaysian Nagaenthran K. Dharmalingam.

The Singapore High Court earlier granted a stay of execution to Nagaenthran, 33, who is to be executed on Wednesday (Nov 10) for a drug trafficking conviction.

"I join many others concerned about this tragic case in calling on Singapore’s President Halimah Yacob to use her pardon powers and spare Nagaenthran’s life. It would be the just and fair thing to do.

"Coerced and threatened by drug traffickers exploiting his poverty, Nagaenthran was just 19 when he was arrested in 2019. His ordeal exposes the fatal flaws of the death penalty on so many levels," Branson wrote in a blog post.

The British business magnate pointed out that since Nagaenthran is intellectually disabled, proceeding with the execution would cast serious doubts on Singapore’s willingness to uphold international law, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.

Branson also said that in Nagaenthran’s case, some have suggested that he himself may have been the victim of human trafficking.

"Equally troubling are the aspects of inequality evident in this case. Few kingpins of the illicit drug trade, many of them operating out of Asian countries, ever face any consequences for their role in this multi-billion-dollar business," he wrote.

Branson also said that Nagaenthran’s case mirrors that of 55-year-old single mother Hairun Jalmani, who was given the mandatory death sentence by the Tawau High Court on Oct 15 for possessing and trafficking 113.9g of methamphetamine.

"It’s impossible not to see the extent to which inequality, poverty and the death penalty are linked. It’s a grave injustice," he said.

"I’ve never made a secret of my position on capital punishment. It’s an inhumane practice that deserves no place in modern society.

"But no matter where you stand, it’s cases like Nagaenthran’s that illustrate why the death penalty is broken beyond repair," Branson added.

It was reported that Nagaenthran was sentenced to death by the Singapore High Court on Nov 22, 2010.

The appeal process went through to the final stage, and his application for presidential clemency was rejected on June 1, 2020.

Aside from voices of various quarters and human rights groups, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has also recently written to his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong seeking leniency in the case.
Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In Nation

Be honest, efficient and have high integrity, Ismail Sabri tells PM’s Dept staff
Health Ministry to be consulted on possible SOP relaxation for international tourists, says PM
Take extra precautions during CNY season in wake of Omicron variant, says Sarawak DCM
PM: 'Balik kampung' will be allowed, no more travel restrictions
More than 10.9 million adult population in Malaysia given booster dose as of Monday (Jan 24)
Nojima sets foot in Malaysia
Armed assault: Police tracking down two men to assist investigations
19 called to give statements regarding assembly
Clusters rise 313.3% at educational institutions
Teachers in politics draw concern

Others Also Read