More than 10 years after Nagaenthran was convincted of drug trafficking on 22 Novermber 2010, he was finally hanged on 27 April 2022.
As usual, human rights activists like Kirsten Han and Jolovan Wham, supported by their international friends, have been having a full day exploiting the hanging for their own agenda, painting the picture of a confused, mentally-disabled man who did not know what he was doing. They should be taken to task for taking Nagaenthran’s family on a roller coaster ride of false hopes for their own agenda. One thing is certain. When the dust has settled on the hanging, Nagaenthran’s family will quickly be forgotten by these activists who will also go into hibernation, waiting for the next opportunity.
It is clear as daylight that Nagaenthran knew what he ws doing and carrying when he was arrested at Woodlands Checkpoint on 22 April 2009. He had with him nearly half a kilo of a powdery substance which contained at least 42 grammes of pure heroin, enough to feed the addiction of 510 abusers for a week.
He may have a low IQ, but he certainly did not suffer from intellectual disability.
When he was stopped at the checkpoint, he sought to avert a search by telling officers that he was ‘working in security’. He was intelligent enough to appeal to the social perception of the trustworthiness of security officers. His action showed that he was capable of manipulation and evasion.
Over the course of time, his testimony had changed from being forced to carry the drugs because the mastermind threatened to kill his girlfriend, to doing it to pay off his debts, and finally to not knowing what was in the bundle. In all these different versions, he was clearly thinking and demonstrating the ability to find the best defence that he thought would be helpful to him.
It is very telling that Nagaenthran’s own psychiatrist, called by the Defence on Nagaenthran’s behalf, agreed in Court that Nagaenthran was not intellectually disabled.
Each time he was interviewed, he would alter his account of his education qualifications to reflect lower qualifications. This he did on a continous basis, showing a deliberate and purposeful action aimed at finding a mitigating factor of diminished responsibility.
In prison, he was able to plan his daily visit and call schedules, understand that his sentence was to be carried out soon and choose prison officers to care for his needs in the time leading to his execution.
The assertion that Nagaenthran had a mental age of 18 was made by lawyer M Ravi who met Nagaenthran only once in the last 3 years and for a total of 26 minutes on 2 November 2021.
But Mr Ravi conceded that he did not possess any medical expertise to comment on this matter. He also efused to consent to having Nagaenthran’s latest medical and psychiatric reports placed before the Court, which would have been relevant.