Is this how we build a gracious society?
March 14, 2010, 12:28 am
Filed under: Announcements

Yong Vui Kong’s appeal will be heard at 10 a.m on 15 March 2010, Monday, at the Court of Appeal (Supreme Court). It is open to public but as the space at the public gallery is limited, do arrive earlier than that.


14 Comments so far
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With respect, try to replace the headline with “executing drug trafficker” and see how it reads.

Never underestimate the havoc that narcotic could wrack on a society, especially one as small and as tightly integrated as Singapore.

Comment by 2010

Our country has been executing drug mules regardless of whether they were aware that they were carrying drugs or otherwise. Most of the time, the mastermind behind the drug mule system gets away scot free while continuing to operate. If they are really hell bent on eliminating drug consumption and abuse in this country or the world, then why are we the host country for one of the biggest Burmese drug lord and his family in Singapore? Why does Singapore even continue to hold close ties with the Burmese Junta who are well known for seizing farmlands and forcing their farmers to grow opium and tobacco?

When asked whether it is possible that an innocent man can be sent to hang, ex-Justice Yong Pang How admittedly said yes. You can read it here.

Honestly, if you truly understand the term ‘mandatory death penalty’ and understand how it is rigidly applied with no considerations to mitigating factors, you might probably see it differently. Of course, I am not sure but it is just a possibility that you might.

There are other ways to deter people from drug abuse. Sending drug mules to the gallows is honestly not the solution and can be be avoided.

Comment by rachelabsinthe

True, Rachel.

Whenever someone is executed by the state, it is a sad story to tell. On the other hand, IF narcotic ever set root in Singapore, it would be a disaster of epic proportion. The Singapore as we know it can drop out of the world stage in a matter of months, if not weeks.

Perhaps that in part explains a bit the dis-proportionally severe penalty for drug trafficking in Singapore.

Note: No legal system is perfect/foolproof.

Comment by 2010

While it is true that no legal system is perfect or fool proof, is it also not true that we should progressively look into reviewing and improving it to allow for rehabilitation and repentance? Why point the fingers solely at the drug mules/ traffickers, and let the drug lords get away? Are you ok with the idea that innocent people may be executed just because they thought that they were merely carrying ‘traditional herbs’ or gifts as a favour, for their friends back home?

Without demand, there will be no supply. If the mandatory death penalty is a deterrent, then why are drug abusers still able to get their supply? Bear in mind also that the drugs that come in might not be for the consumption of drug abusers here. It might again be transported out by another drug mule to another country.

I have known more cases of alcohol abuse that had led to the destruction of personal lives and career than drug abuse. Why is it that alcohol is still widely available here then?

It seems like many people believe that if drugs are available, everyone will start taking it. Now I think it is not true. If that is true, then we are not doing enough to inform our youths through education and other channels about the negative impact of drug abuse.

Comment by rachelabsinthe

“Addiction” fundamentally means one cannot stop even if he/she wishes to stop.

Once supply gets less resistance (deterrent), narcotics slip in via voluntary and involuntary traffickers, demand THEN kicks on once widespread addiction takes place. Social fiber breaks down and a society is literally paralyzed.

Drug abuse a vicious cycle that’s best stopped well BEFORE the addictive substance itself becomes widely available on the street.

Comment by 2010

I totally agree with you however the issue we are trying to address here is with regards to the mandatory drug penalty.

Why put the blame via execution to only the drug mules/ traffickers? Why choose the method of punishment that does not allow for rehabilitation and repentance? Why are mitigating factors not being considered?

There are many other ways to punish drug mules/ traffickers, sending them to the gallows is not the absolute way.

There are also many ways to stop drugs from entering the country, kicking out Lo Hsing Han, his son Steven Law and daughter-in-law Cecilia Ng (who happens to be a Singaporean) is one way and ending all trading and diplomatic ties with the Burmese Junta is another. That along with a solid education about the impact of drug abuse will actually help ALOT.

Comment by rachelabsinthe

True. Singaporean government works very hard toward that end (education & striking the sources as we as the carriers of the narcotic trafficking chain) too.

Anyway, i am not pro-capital punishment per se but given the City-State’s unique location (in the middle of Southeast Asian’s drug trafficking route) and demographic composition (maj: young, affluent and well-connected), i will concede to say that capital punishment for minor narcotic traffickers is an unfortunate but necessary evil.

Comment by 2010

“True. Singaporean government works very hard toward that end (education & striking the sources as we as the carriers of the narcotic trafficking chain) too.”

If they are, why are they still having trade and diplomatic ties with the Burmese Junta and having ‘businessmen’ here who own opium fields back home in Burma? The root of the problem is not the drug mules/ traffickers and we all have to start recognising that. Like I said, why let the mastermind get away? Why not work hand in hand with neighbouring governments, with the help of drug mules/ traffickers to capture the mastermind of such sophisticated syndicates?

We need not hang anyone, especially someone who is so young. There is a need to look into rehabilitation and a chance for repentance and I am sure that social workers who are passionate about the purpose in their occupation will willingly come in helpful in this area.

By the way, I personally know about a hardcore heroin addict of 20 years in his 40s who has since kicked off the addiction so it is not impossible.

Comment by rachelabsinthe

Politics unfortunately doesn’t work like that. You don’t severe a diplomatic tie just because you disagree with their specific domestic policy or wrongdoing. Only superpower can make such a call. Neutral countries (eg Sweden) barely has such leverage to criticize other countries on moral ground without suffering massive retribution (eg violence against oversea citizens).

Comment by 2010

So politics includes illegal money laundering, giving PR status to a well known Burmese drug lord (and family) and letting them establish their ‘business companies’ here too huh?

Even if it is believed to be so, it does not stop us from voicing out our concerns and advocate for change. In fact, if you ask the lawyers in private, most will tell you that they do not agree with the mandatory death penalty too.

Comment by rachelabsinthe

Feel free to send me an email at roblin.29[at]gmail[dot]com if you wish to discuss it further. Until then, i am sure we can agree to disagree. Take care.

Comment by 2010

Sure thing and I appreciate that we are having this discussion here. Will continue the discussion when the sun rises, you will probably get an email from me then. In the meantime, goodnight!🙂

Comment by rachelabsinthe

Why set any precedance.

Sendng to the gallows sends out a signal that it will not be tolerated in Singapore even if it is a young drug mule. A drug mule is a drug mule irrespective.

YOu really think that education about the impact of drug abuse will actually help alot. Aren’t you a wee bit naive?

Comment by soojenn

So if a person brings in illegal substances without knowing that he/ she is bringing illegal substances, then the person deserves to be sent to the gallows too? If a person who has been brought up not knowing that heroin is not the tobacco that smokers light up every day, does he not deserve a chance because he did not think that it was wrong? Human lives are precious. If we do not think that people should be given chances, if we do not look into mitigating factors, then we should also not seek to be granted forgiveness by people we hurt unintentionally every single day of our lives. Also, if we are so against murder, then why do we allow state murder to take place?

One can receive education through many channels, not only in school. The way we are doing now is merely informing the youths with pictures and words about the impact of drug addiction. Why not include a visit to the DRC? But please do re-read what I said here:

“There are also many ways to stop drugs from entering the country, kicking out Lo Hsing Han, his son Steven Law and daughter-in-law Cecilia Ng (who happens to be a Singaporean) is one way and ending all trading and diplomatic ties with the Burmese Junta is another. That along with a solid education about the impact of drug abuse will actually help ALOT.”

It was meant to be a suggestion as a whole and not separate suggestions made into a paragraph.

Comment by rachelabsinthe




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