Malaysian MP Nazri Aziz last week (Nov 10) urged the Malaysian government to abide by the moratorium on death sentences in the country, warning that it would otherwise be accused of double standards following the Malaysia's prime minister’s move to appeal on behalf of Malaysian drug mule Nagaenthran K. Dharmalingam who is scheduled to be hanged in Singapore.
Nazri said although the Malaysian government had agreed in 2018 to impose a moratorium on the death penalty, it had U-turned on the decision the following year.
“We retracted it, what is this?” he said. “One minute we agreed, the next we retracted.”
He referred to the case of a single mother with nine children who was handed the death sentence in October for possessing 113.9g of methamphetamine in January 2018.
Nagaenthran, who was arrested in April 2009, had been on death row for more than a decade for trafficking 42.72g of heroin.
At the heart of the outrage over his scheduled execution was a diagnosis of his mental capability, which found among other that he has an IQ of 69 – below the threshold of 70 for declaring a person as intellectually disabled according to American psychiatric benchmarks.
Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob meanwhile wrote to his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Looong, asking for leniency and expressing hope that Nagaenthran’s appeal could be considered “purely on humanitarian grounds”.
Nazri said: “I would like to congratulate the prime minister who, even though he did not have the moral high ground to appeal to another country because a Malaysian citizen faces the gallows, wrote a letter knowing that people would point back at him and say, ‘Your country also hangs people’.
“Meaning that drug offences, if they are outside the country, are okay. But in the country, we hang them,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat.