M’sian On Death Row Loses Last-Minute Appeal To Stay Execution, Hanged On 7 Jul

31-Year-Old Malaysian Drug Trafficker Fails In Last-Minute Attempt For Stay Of Execution

Singapore is known for its hard stance on drugs, and it looks like it will continue to stay that way.

In a recent interview with the BBC, Law Minister K Shanmugam maintained that capital punishment is an effective way of deterring potential drug traffickers.

He also explained that there is a need for such serious measures seeing the damage drugs have caused worldwide.

Shanmugam Defends S’pore Death Penalty For Drug Traffickers, Says It Saves ‘Thousands Of Lives’

Recently, another Malaysian drug trafficker was executed after failing in his last-minute appeal for a stay of execution. A Singaporean man was also hanged for drug trafficking offences the same morning.

This comes less than three months after Nagaenthran Dharmalingam was hanged for bringing 42.72g of heroin into Singapore in 2009.

Malaysian drug trafficker on death row loses stay of execution appeal

In Jun 2016, Kalwant Singh Jogindar Singh was convicted of two charges involving a total of 181.05g of pure heroin and was sentenced to death.

His appeal against the conviction and sentence was dismissed in March 2017.

On Wednesday (6 Jul), the 31-year-old Malaysian failed in another appeal for a stay of execution at the last minute.

Source: Save Pannir on Facebook

During the hearing at the Court of Appeal, lawyer Too Xing Ji argued that Kalwant had provided valuable information to the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) that led to a suspect’s arrest.

The Straits Times (ST) notes that drug traffickers who substantively help the CNB to disrupt drug trafficking activities may get life imprisonment and caning in lieu of the death penalty.

However, Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon pointed out that the CNB had clarified under oath that it arrested the suspect based on investigations into a separate case, not Kalwant’s intel.

Thus, the onus was on Kalwant to show evidence that the CNB had acted on his information.

While judges acknowledged that Mr Too’s efforts to save his client was “valiant”, they dismissed the application to stay the execution.

The hearing was open to the public. According to Transformative Justice Collective, the public gallery was so full that some attendees had to wait outside. Many also went down to show their support for Kalwant.

malaysian drug trafficker

Source: Transformative Justice Collective on Facebook

Two other men, Mohamad Yazid Md Yusof and Norasharee Gous, were jointly tried with Kalwant.

Transformative Justice Collective shared that there was a hearing for Norasharee later yesterday (6 Jul) too, but his petition for clemency was similarly unsuccessful.

Two men executed on 7 Jul

According to CNB, the 48-year-old Singaporean was “convicted of abetting, by instigation, another person to traffic” 120.9g of heroin.

Yazid, meanwhile, received a certificate of substantive assistance and got life in prison, as well as 15 strokes of the cane, reported ST.

Both Kalwant and Norasharee were scheduled to be hanged this morning (7 Jul).

In their statement, the CNB stated that they reserve capital punishment “only for the most serious crimes, such as the trafficking of significant quantities of drugs which cause very serious harm”.

Capital punishment is part of Singapore’s comprehensive harm prevention strategy which targets both drug demand and supply.

Wake for Kalwant happening this afternoon

At around 10.20am today (7 Jul), activist Kirsten Han confirmed the executions of both Kalwant and Norasharee in a tweet.

She added that their belongings and death certificates have been handed over to their families.

Activist Kokila Annamalai later shared on Facebook that there will be a wake for Kalwant at Chapel of Peace at 38 Sin Ming Drive from 1pm to 3pm this afternoon.

His family will then bring his casket back to his hometown, Cameron Highlands. There, they will lay him to rest following a funeral.

malaysian drug trafficker

Source: Kokila Annamalai on Facebook

As for Norasharee, his friends and family said their final goodbyes to him at Masjid Pusara Aman at 11am this morning.

Our condolences to the family of the deceased

As Mr Shanmugam emphasised, Singapore’s tough drug laws exist for a reason. They are there to keep everyone safe from the devastating effects that substance abuse can have on a community.

Still, no matter what the circumstances were, the fact remains that two families just lost their beloved members.

MS News sends our condolences to the late Kalwant and Norasharee’s families. May the deceased rest in peace.

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at news@mustsharenews.com.

Featured image adapted from Save Pannir on Facebook and Kokila Annamalai on Facebook.

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