SHAH ALAM - An online petition to ask Singapore's President Halimah Yacob to pardon Malaysian K Datchinamurthy, the 36-year-old who is facing death sentence for drug trafficking has been launched.
The #SaveDatch campaign on Change.org website said Datchinamurthy comes from a poor, Malaysian Tamil working-class family.
"Often, minorities and the poor disproportionately fall prey to the death penalty. It is never the drug lords that pay the price, and always the drug carriers, like Datchinmurthy and many others," it said.
It seeks support as a court hearing draws on May 20.
It says a stay of execution was granted to Datchinamurthy on April 28 but it is a temporary decision and "the state could still execute him after the hearing on May 20."
Datchinamurthy was arrested on Jan 18, 2011 along with Singaporean citizen, Christeen Jayamany, for allegedly trafficking 44.96g of Diamorphine.
The petition further said Datchinamurthy had previously said he was given a job by a man named “Rajah” and was told that the items were “not serious drugs”.
"Datchinamurthy also said that he thought that the drugs he was carrying were Chinese medicine after checking the packets," it said.
In May 2015, Datchinamurthy and Christeen were found guilty.
Datchinamurthy was given the death sentence while Christeen was given life imprisonment, it said.
On Feb 2016, Datchinamurthy’s appeal to the appellate court was rejected. In that same year, Datchinamurthy submitted a clemency appeal to then-president, Tony Tan.
In July 2019, his clemency appeal was rejected by the current president, Halimah, on the cabinet’s advice, it further said.
On April 26, Singapore executed mentally-disabled Malaysian Nagaenthran K. Dharmalingam after court dismisses the last-ditch appeal. The 34-year-old, who had an IQ of 69, was in prison in Singapore since being detained in 2009 for bringing in 43 grams of heroin.