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Woman to donate gold necklace to temple after husband receives death penalty reprieve

Mdm Veluthai promised she would give the gold necklace she had worn for over 25 years to a Hindu temple should her husband’s sentence be commuted

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Singapore—A woman who promised to donate her gold Thali necklace (understood to be a symbol of marriage) to a Hindu temple if her husband’s death sentence did not push through will happily be making good on her pledge.

In 2018, Madam S. Veluthai’s husband, S.K. Murugan Subrawmaniam, was given the death penalty. 

But Murugan had been retried after the admissibility of his statements when police investigated him for a drug offence came into question. 

In early July, Justice Chan Seng Onn ruled that seven statements he made during the investigation could no longer be admitted as evidence against him.

When she was told her husband was given the death sentence three years ago, Mdm Veluthai promised she would give the gold Thali necklace she had worn for over 25 years to a Hindu temple should her husband’s sentence be commuted.

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As it turns out, the charge against him was changed by the prosecution to a non-capital offence, and he pleaded guilty to the charge of trafficking in no less than 9g of diamorphine. He received a 12-year jail sentence instead, according to The Straits Times (ST).

He’s been jailed since 2015, but may be out in as soon as 18 months because of good conduct.

His wife recounted that their story has been “a journey of many tears to happiness.”

Mdm Veluthai, who works as a cleaner in Tuas and is a grandmother of three, told ST that a groom usually gives his bride a Thali necklace at their wedding, placing it around her neck.

It is meant to be worn as long as the two are married.

But as much as she’ll make good on the pledge she made, it’s not the last Thali necklace she’ll have. 

She told ST in Tamil, “We intend to get another Thali as a sign of renewal for his new lease of life, and say our prayers together after his release.”

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/TISG

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