JOHOR BARU, March 23 — For 12 long years Nagamah Doraisamy has led a life of pain and misery but today she can afford to smile a little.
On his coronation day, the Sultan of Johor has shown mercy to Nagamah’s 37-year old son, P. Chandran.
Chandran was found guilty of a crime in July 2003 and sentenced to death by the High Court here the same year.
Over the years, he had exhausted all avenues of appeal.
However, he and 10 other death row inmates had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment, which carries a maximum term of 20 years, while 13 others, whose cases were reviewed under the four-year review system, were granted a pardon and released from prison.
On Thursday, Johor State Secretary Datuk Ismail Karim announced the decision of the Johor Royal Pardons Board, which met on March 5.
Chandran was due to be led to the gallows on Feb 7, 2014.
His family had been notified by the Kajang Prison Authorities when the Sultan intervened and granted Chandran a stay of execution on Feb 6, seven hours before the execution was to take place.
But all the time, the 59-year-old Nagamah, a housewife and a mother of six, never lost hope.
She wrote to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and petitioned the Yang diPertuan Agong, asking them to spare her son’s life.
She and her lawyers, M. Manoharan and P. Uthaykumar, and her third son, Thamothar, 36, made the trip here from their home in Termerloh, Pahang, to the Istana Besar office on Friday hoping to hand over an appeal on Chandran’s behalf.
“I am very happy today to learn that my son has been spared the gallows,” she told Malay Mail.
“I owe my deepest gratitude to the Sultan of Johor.
“He is a good man, he saved my son’s life and I really don’t know how to thank him.
“Chandran committed a crime and was found guilty but he will always be my son.
“He celebrated his birthday on Feb 13 and I will wait for him to come home and celebrate his birthday with us.
“I always think of him, and my hope is that I will live to see him released from prison.
“It has been very hard on me all these years, thinking about how he is coping.”
For Thamothar, Chandran’s younger brother, it was the best piece of news for the family.
“My mother is very frail. Maybe she will now draw strength,” he said.
“I have long accepted what fate is due for my brother.
“Our family only prays that he will be given a pardon in four years’ time when his review comes up for hearing.
“My mother will be the happiest person in the world.”