Singapore: Malaysian Drug Courier Scheduled for Execution (from The Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network, ADPAN)

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Kalwant Singh was convicted of possession of 60.15 grams of diamorphine and trafficking 120.9 grams of diamorphine. Kalwant was 23 years old at the time of the offence. A co-accused was also convicted of possessing the same 120.9 grams of diamorphine, for the purposes of trafficking. Both the Trial Court and Court of Appeal found that Kalwant Singh and his co-accused were acting as nothing more than a courier. While the co-accused was granted a Certificate of Substantive Assistance by police, he was sentenced to life imprisonment and fifteen strokes of the cane. Kalwant Singh received the death penalty.

The government of Singapore has, on multiple occasions, claimed that without the death penalty, Singapore would not be able to protect its citizens from the drug menace. Yet the death penalty has done little to eliminate the syndicates that recruit and exploit people as drug couriers and profit from the distribution of drugs in Singapore.

The series of executions by Singapore since its resumption in 2022 has only involved couriers and petty peddlers, and there are no indications that this scheduled execution would be any different. On 28 April 2022, immediately after executing Nagaenthran Dharmalingam, an intellectually disabled man, Singapore intended to execute Datchinamurthy Kataiah, who still had an outstanding legal challenge in the court.

The Public Prosecution had insisted that his execution would not affect the legal challenge posed and persisted in appealing against the stay of execution. It should also be noted that Datchinamurthy had to file the appeal himself with no legal representation due to the onerous conditions and punitive cost measures imposed against capital defence lawyers in Singapore previously. Singapore’s eagerness to pursue executions for drug offences is a flagrant disregard for the right to a fair trial, and in April 2022, it was described by the United Nations as “incompatible with human rights law”. Pursuing these cases has substantially damaged Singapore’s reputation.

This further planned execution will only cement the perception that Singapore does not value human life but only cares to maintain the façade of success in their ‘war on drugs’. ADPAN calls for Singapore to halt the scheduled execution, impose a moratorium on further executions and bring Singapore’s law in line with international standards where the death penalty can only be applied for the most serious crime involving intentional killing. For and on behalf of ADPAN (Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network)

Email: Website: ADPAN is the peak regional body for organizations committed to the abolition of the death penalty across Asia-Pacific, with members from approximately 22 countries within the region. As such, ADPAN maintains that the death penalty violates the right to life, that it is the ultimate form of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and that the death penalty should be entirely abolished internationally.



The Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network is a regional network of organizations and individuals committed to working towards abolition of the death penalty in the Asia Pacific.


Our role is to create wider societal support for abolition of the death penalty in the Asia Pacific region through advocacy, education and network building.


Our Objectives

  • Build awareness in the Asia Pacific region about the social, legal and political dimensions of the death penalty.
  • Take urgent action to support death row defendants and their families.
  • Provide legal support to death row defendants and their families including:
  • legal research and support to local teams/representatives
  • local and international media campaigns
  • advocacy and campaigns on clemency.
  • Collaborate with stakeholders to build strategic networks and alliances against the death penalty.
  • Contribute to research about the death penalty.
  • Ensure ADPAN’s organizational sustainability.



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