Singapore on Friday executed a Malaysian murder convict after a last-minute plea was rejected, police said, triggering condemnation by human rights groups.

"A 32-year-old male Malaysian national, Jabing Kho, had his death sentence carried out on May 20, 2016, at Changi Prison Complex," the police said online, putting his given name first.

Kho was convicted of murder and sentenced to death on July 30, 2010, for the killing of a Chinese construction worker in 2008 during a botched robbery attempt.

His death sentence was initially commuted to life imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane after Singapore reviewed its death penalty laws in 2012.

But in January 2015, the Singaporean Court of Appeal reimposed the death sentence on Kho in a unanimous decision.

His execution was earlier reported by activist group the Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign.

"Kho Jabing was executed at 3:30 pm (0730 GMT)," campaigner Rachel Zeng was quoted as saying by news portal Malaysiakini, reporting the convict's age as 31.

Malaysian human rights group Suaram condemned the execution.

"The refusal to provide for a stay of execution and the apathy shown by government of Singapore in regards to the plea for clemency by the family and members of the public can only be described as callous and unconscionable to say the least.

"This execution also marks Singapore's departure from the norms of developed states where the use of capital punishment has been gradually phased out," it added.

Phil Robertson, an official of the New York-based Human Rights Watch, described the execution as "cruel and heartless."

But the Singapore police insisted that Kho was accorded full due process under the law before he was executed.

"The court of appeal in their judgement last January said that Jabing had exhibited a blatant disregard for human life in the way he attacked the deceased," the police statement said.

"In dismissing the latest round of last-minute appeals, the court of appeal said that Jabing's multiple court applications after the conclusion of his appeal were an abuse of court process," it added.

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