KUALA LUMPUR, April 26 — Well-wishers, activists and representatives from the Bar Council and political parties hosted the candlelight vigil held for Nagaenthran Dharmalingam tonight ahead of his scheduled execution in Singapore tomorrow.
Held outside the Singapore Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, the vigil was a show of support for Nagaenthran who has been incarcerated for drug trafficking since 2009.
The vigil began at 8.30pm when around 40 people walked from the side entrance of the embassy holding makeshift candle holders made out of plastic cups.
At about 8.45pm around 30 police personnel arrived to monitor the situation and at 9.02pm the crowd was asked to slowly disperse.
The crowd then started singing the national anthem Negaraku before leaving.
Bar Council president Karen Cheah Yee Lynn said it hopes in the future the death penalty will be abolished.
“We hope in the future the Singapore government can adopt the moratorium on death penalty and executions.
“We have this in Malaysia and we have also voted for it at the United Nations along with many other countries,” Karen told Malay Mail.
Yesterday in a last-ditch effort to save his life, Nagaenthiran filed a legal challenge in court through his mother Panchalai Supermaniam, who was unrepresented, the hearing of which the Singapore Court of Appeal has scheduled for 2.30pm today.
According to Lawyers for Liberty member N Surendran, the execution is expected to take place tomorrow morning around 5.45am or 6am.
Nagaenthran, 33, has been on death row for more than a decade for trafficking 42.72 grams of heroin into Singapore, a South-east Asian city-state known for having some of the world’s toughest laws against illegal drugs.
AFP had on March 29 reported that Nagaenthran supporters had said he has an IQ of 69 and his family argued he has — a level recognised as a disability — and was coerced into committing the crime.
His case has attracted international attention, with Malaysia’s prime minister, a group of UN experts and British billionaire Richard Branson among those who have called on Singapore to commute his death sentence.
The court had stayed Nagaenthiran’s execution last year without ruling on his appeal after he tested positive for Covid-19 a day before he was due to be hanged.