Come, let's debate: Singapore to UK billionaire Richard Branson on death penalty

Updated on Oct 23, 2022 09:58 AM IST

Richard Branson: Richard Branson had said, “Singapore still finds itself on the wrong side of history”.

Richard Branson: Billionaire entrepreneur and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson. (Reuters)
Richard Branson: Billionaire entrepreneur and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson. (Reuters)

Singapore invited UK billionaire Richard Branson to a live televised debate with home affairs and law minister K Shanmugam on its drug policy and death penalty after the entrepreneur's blog post on the subject.

In the blog post, Richard Branson had said, “Singapore still finds itself on the wrong side of history” owing to its continued use of the death penalty, particularly for drug offences and highlighted execution of convicted Malaysian drug trafficker Nagaenthran K. Dharmalingam this year.

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Nagaenthran K. Dharmalingam was hanged after being found guilty for trafficking 43 grams of heroin into Singapore in 2009.

Singapore’s ministry of home affairs refuted Richard Branson’s remarks on Saturday saying that the drug trafficker “knew what he was doing and that he was not intellectually disabled.”

“Mr. Branson may use this platform to demonstrate to Singaporeans the error of our ways and why Singapore should do away with laws that have kept our population safe from the global scourge of drug abuse,” the ministry said.

His “flight to and accommodation in Singapore will be paid for,” it added.

The ministry also defended Singapore's drug policy stating that the measures were intended to protect the country and its residents from the dangers of drugs.

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