IPOH, April 29 — Sounds of wailing filled the Buntong Crematorium as the final remains of Nagaenthran Dharmalingam, 34, who was executed for drug trafficking in Singapore on Wednesday despite multiple appeals for being intellectually disabled, was cremated.
About 200 friend and family members were present at the crematorium centre to pay their last respects and send Nagaenthran off on his final journey.
Nagaenthran’s body arrived at the crematorium centre at 4pm on a hearse after the family completes the funeral rituals and prayers at his home in Tanjung Rambutan.
Upon arriving, several men including relatives, carried his coffin for about 50m from the entrance of the crematorium centre to the place the cremation take place.
Traditional Indian percussion was also played during the short procession.
A similar procession was also carried out at his home in Tanjung Rambutan when they loaded the coffin on to the hearse.
After completing the cremation ritual and prayers by the priest and family members which lasted about one hour, Nagaenthran’s remains were finally cremated at 5pm.
The family members and relatives were seen wailing and crying by holding on to his coffin as a final gesture to say goodbye before his body was cremated.
The percussion also played again and some firecrackers were set off during the process.
Nagaenthran’s family members did not speak to the media as they requested for privacy during the funeral process.
The family will likely collect Nagaenthran’s ashes on Monday and likely to release it by the nearest river as per Hindu custom.
Nagaenthran was sentenced to death in 2010 for trafficking 42.72g of heroin in 2009 into Singapore, which is known to be among the countries with the strictest narcotics laws in the world.
He was supposed to have been hanged on November 10, 2021, but found temporary respite on November 9 after the court was told that he had tested positive for Covid-19 when he appeared for a last-bid attempt against his death sentence.
Nagaenthran’s case attracted world attention, with a group of United Nations experts and British billionaire Richard Branson joining Malaysia’s prime minister and human rights activists to urge Singapore to commute his death sentence.
His lawyers and activists said Nagaenthran’s IQ was found to be at 69, a level recognised as an intellectual disability.
However, the courts determined he knew what he was doing at the time of his crime, and ruled there was no admissible evidence showing any decline in his mental condition.
The Singapore government says the death penalty is a deterrent against drug trafficking and most of its citizens support capital punishment.
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