About Rachel


I am an early childhood educator by day, and an activist after work, on weekends, and during public holidays. In contrary to what many people have told me in private, I don’t think I should stick to being just a normal Singaporean girl or to ‘know my place in society’. It is not the desire of mine to be labelled as different or special nor do I wish to stand out from among the materialistic crowd as a ‘special sore thumb’. Deep down in my heart there are many issues that I am passionate about and among them include the dignity of human life, the right of all human beings to hold opinions and the freedom to voice out their opinions whether they are in agreement to the authorities or otherwise… and many more.

Besides that, I hope to be able to play the role of an advocate with my opinions on early childhood education so that parents who read my write ups have a clearer idea of the development of their children and to identify the purpose of a good early childhood education, and that is, an early childhood education seeks not to solely prepare children for primary school, but to encourage developments in various areas, to nurture the thirst for knowledge and to equip children with the basic foundations of lifelong skills.

To me, everyone is equal and have their roles in society. The role of a road sweeper is as significant to society as a politician’s and a low wage worker is not in any way ‘low class’ when standing next to a multi-millionaire. We should all stand on par and build this nation, this world, so that it progresses to be a better one for our generations to come and we should take pride in whatever roles we may play. No one should be left out and no one should be deem as unimportant or insignificant.

Therefore, even as a ‘lowly viewed high class nanny’ in Singapore who is working in a child care centre, I don’t see myself as a slave to any system. That is why I am doing what I do, that is why I am speaking up.

It is time for people to realise that members of the female gender should have an equal voice in society and should never be muted by their so called roles in the Asian society (making babies, bringing kids up and taking care of the household).

So there you go, this is who I am and what I think! 🙂

Should anyone wish to contact me, I can be reached at rachelabsinthe at gmail.com.

(BTW: I am not a member of any political party and am not interested to be in one)


49 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I think what you are doing is great and people especially young people should look up to you!! 🙂

Comment by Lee

Thanks for your kind words Lee but I am just a mere speckle of dust as compared to people who have contributed so much more towards socio-political issues in Singapore over the years. I have much more to learn. 🙂

Comment by rachelabsinthe

I am glad i found your blog. You are the first singaporean i encounter that feels the way too.

Comment by xuanguang

Thanks for visiting my blog and hope that I won’t bore you with my ramblings! 🙂

Comment by rachelabsinthe

Why are you so concern about Yong Vui Kong, are you his girlfriend?

Comment by Allahu

Do you mean that we have to be emotionally attached to someone before recognising that he is a human being and deserves to be given a second change to repent?

He is of no relation to me. I am doing this because I find the whole system of mandatory death penalty unjust.

Furthermore, at 21, he is too young to die and should be given a chance to repentance and turn over a new leaf. The waste of such a young life all thanks to the mandatory death penalty (i.e., mitigation factors are not allowed to be put into consideration during sentencing) is what I really care about most in this particular case of Yong.

Comment by rachelabsinthe

Hi Rach! I got some news for ya… send me a private email. I couldn’t get in touch with you…

It’s important.

Comment by Alex Theryan

Yes Alex, you’ve got mail. I have news for you too, a terribly sad one. We probably know about the same thing.

Comment by rachelabsinthe

Hi there, just thought I’d say that I admire what you’re doing. Although I don’t agree with the abolishment of the death penalty (crimes of a certain nature deserve to be punished accordingly IMO), but in Singapore at least we DEFINITELY need greater transparency and debate about who we’re executing and why, and whether we should .. In any case, we need more S’poreans who care, thanks for being one of them.

Comment by LHH

Hi Rachel,

My name is Shawn Lim and I blog at http://tauhuayboy.wordpress.com. I was planning to attend the launch of the ‘Once a Jolly Hangman’ but I realised it was by invite only. I did some searching and found out that you are in the charge. I was wondering if you could give me a heads-up in the future if there are these kind of events.



Comment by tauhuayboy

Hi Shawn, no problem you are on the mailing list from now on! 🙂

Comment by rachelabsinthe

Hey Rachel,

You sound very interesting and I like what you do. Please keep in touch.


Comment by selvaraja somiah

Being young is not an excuse. Ignorantia juris non excusat or Ignorantia legis neminem excusat (Latin for “Ignorance of the law does not excuse” or “ignorance of the law excuses no one”) is a legal principle holding that a person who is unaware of a law may not escape liability for violating that law merely because he or she was unaware of its content which include the contents of the parcel he was carrying.

Section 213 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cap 68) states that :

No sentence of death against person under 18 years.
213. Sentence of death shall not be pronounced on or recorded against a person convicted of an offence if it appears to the court that at the time when the offence was committed he was under the age of 18 years but instead of that the court shall sentence him to be detained during the President’s pleasure, and, if so sentenced, he shall be liable to be detained in such place and under such conditions as the President directs, and while so detained shall be deemed to be in legal custody.

Yong was well above 18 years of age at the time of his arrest and thus can not be exempted from a sentence of death. From the evidence that was given by Yong’s accomplice, it was not the first time Yong has trafficked drugs into Singapore. 47.27g of diamorphine can be used to produce approximately 4,566 straws of heroin, which is worth at least $136,980. If the drugs had flowed out onto the streets, I wonder how many people will die and how many lives will be destroyed. For the 47.27g of diamorphine alone, he is already liable to be sentenced to death THRICE. So, should he die? An Injustice is only tolerable when it prevent further injustices. He should count himself lucky that he can only DIE ONCE.

Maybe he should try swallowing all the 1730 tablets which he had trafficked in and see if he can survive.

Comment by Executor

Besides the Death Penalty, Yong also faces the following charges :

1. Trafficking in controlled drugs by delivering 34 packets of a substance containing not less than 14.09 g of diamorphine, under section 5(1)(a) and punishable under section 33 of the MDA. (Max 20 yrs imprisonment + 15 strokes of rotan)

2. Trafficking in controlled drugs by transporting 1 packet of substance containing not less than 82.77 g of ketamine in motor car MBK 5317 from Yishun St 22 to the vicinity of Meritus Mandarin Hotel at Orchard Road, Singapore, under section 5(1)(a) and punishable under section 33 of the MDA (Max 20 yrs imprisonment + 15 strokes of rotan)

3. Trafficking in controlled drugs by transporting 100 tablets containing 13.04g of N, a-dimethyl-3,4-(methylenedioxy) phenethylamine (ie ecstasy) in motor car MBK 5317 from Yishun St 22 to the vicinity of Meritus Mandarin Hotel at Orchard Road, Singapore, under section 5(1)(a) and punishable under section 33 of the MDA (Max 20 yrs imprisonment + 15 strokes of rotan)

4. Trafficking in controlled drugs by transporting 1 packet of substance containing 19.28 g of methamphetamine (ie ‘ice’) in motor car MBK 5317 from Yishun St 22 to the vicinity of Meritus Mandarin Hotel at Orchard Road, Singapore, under section 5(1)(a) and punishable under section 33 of the MDA (Max 20 yrs imprisonment + 15 strokes of rotan)

5. Trafficking in controlled drugs by delivering 130 tablets containing 16.77 g of N, adimethyl-3,4-(methylenedioxy) phenethylamine (ie ecstasy), under section 5(1)(a) and punishable under section 33 of the MDA (Max 20 yrs imprisonment + 15 strokes of rotan)

6 Trafficking in controlled drugs by delivering 3 packets of substance containing not less than 106.88 g of ketamine, under section 5(1)(a) and punishable under section 33 of the MDA (Max 20 yrs imprisonment + 15 strokes of rotan)

7. Trafficking in controlled drugs by delivering 1 packet of substance containing 3.73 g of methamphetamine (ie ‘ice’), under section 5(1)(a) and punishable under section 33 of the MDA (Max 20 yrs imprisonment + 15 strokes of rotan)

8. Trafficking in controlled drugs by delivering 1500 tablets containing nimetazepam (ie Erimin), under section 5(1)(a) and punishable under section 33 of the MDA (Max 20 yrs imprisonment + 15 strokes of rotan)

All in all, he also faced a total imprisonment of 160 years and 120 strokes of the rotan (Max is 24 allowed under CPC though)

LOL….In my opinion, it’s better off dead.

Comment by Executor

You sound like a Japanese.

Comment by zitpunkaopui

How is insinuating a racial slur either refuting or substantiating what was said?

Comment by Sembawang Bolo

I have to say: Not only do you have a heart of gold, you are hot too!

Comment by BTW

Hah, to executioner:

Then how about greedy pharmaceutical companies(not meaning all are evil) that falsify records of the performance of certain antidepressants: thus leading to higher suicide rates and also increased incidents of violence? And who also love to campaign against Asian medicine(the type that’s been rigorously tested by many medical journals) like TCM, Indian medicine with a zero-tolerant zeal only matched by fundamentalists and cults(fight against quackery) and whose supporters are often not qualified to pass medical statements because they might be scientists but not doctors?

How about all those who ingest fast food almost everyday? Or even deep fried food?

How about all those beauty junkies who continue to ply on products after products, some of which might contain formaldehyde or even mercury or some other harmful ingredients(chemical or natural)?

How about people who love dangerous or risky sports like wave surfing where the fatality rate is like pretty high?

Or how about those who take caffeine wayy too much? Did you know that caffeine can damage your immunity system, lead to depression, impact the ability of your digestive system and so on? And since coffee is often taken with loads of sugar, your teeth will erode more rapidly and decay of oral health can lead to gums/mouth or even throat infection. And in turn, it can cause allergy attacks within the central nervous system. Do realize that in occassions of severe infections and multiple allergy attacks, you could undergo cardiac arrest.

How about all those who keep plants in Singapore? Since pesticide is often used, it also means you’re not just poisoning yourself but you’re also killing others slowly. Because you’re talking about pesticide fumes(the total sum of which is not good for the population).

How about contact lenses wearers? Did you know that fungus can thrive in certain contact lens solutions, thus leading to blindness? And do note that in those with compromised immunity systems(they may or may not be partially/fully aware of it), a single infection could open the path for more infections, leading to severely decreased health or even death.

How about sufferers of anorexia or even bulimia and all those followers of the thinspo movement? Should we kill them for slowly killing themselves?

How about people who take health supplements or even herbs without contacting anyone(off or on the internet) who’s knowledgeable about the effects: neutralization and enhancement of certain pharmaceutical drugs or herbs or even other types of say… TCM medicine and so on?

How about all those people who consume lots of fish? Fish in many countries is heavily contaminated with mercury, PCBs, dioxins and the like which can damage your brain, nervous system, internal organs and the like?

Soo… should all these people be killed too for possibly or somewhat poisoning their own and others’ lives? Do note that if you’re talking about people who eat lots of fish, that includes a good portion of the population in Singapore. I’m not really sure how Singapore is going to handle executions of a few million people. Outsourcing, maybe? =P

Comment by rojakgirl

Academics like Ha-Joon Chang have shown that there’s no correlation between democracy and development. Why can’t you get that?

Comment by Claire

you set a great example for the female gender to follow.

Comment by zero

Thanks 🙂 … but I am no leader, just an ordinary human being who like any other, do the things I do because I feel that I have to.

Just a little note here… Personally I do not believe in gender based examples because conscience, courage, passion and the drive to be involve in social changes transcends across genders. Hence I cringe when I hear terms like “She has more balls than most men” or “She does not behave like a girl does”.

Time for us to see beyond the stereotypes of genders enforced upon us since ancient times by the ‘standards, experiences and perspectives of men’, where social, domestic roles, courage, strength, intellect, and the dos and don’ts were clearly defined according to gender by a male dominated force.

But of course, thanks for the encouragement there nevertheless! 😀

Comment by rachelabsinthe

Thanks Rachel, I see your point. I do believe in gender equality in this modern day as well but I have observed and find that generally females are much less-driven when it comes to politics and/or voicing opinions. perhaps the older generations are like that? our education? psychologically? standards set since ancient times? I hate to stereotype but to me it’s not common to see someone like you in Singapore.

Now is a time whereby women can challenge or can even be more capable than their male counterparts. Singaporeans need to see beyond their small personal comfort zones and look at bigger issues concerning the country as a whole. You have clearly displayed that and I felt thankful for having someone like you here.

Seriously, I hope my generalisation of females in Singapore is wrong. But in you, I think I will get to see some changes. 🙂

Thank you Rachel.

Comment by zero

Commendations on your sharp mind and strong spirits. I had expected an older person; and so I am very impressed.

Comment by Derek Kiong

Hi Derek, thanks! 🙂 I might not be as young as I look though… the photo was taken 2 years back… hehe

Comment by rachelabsinthe

You remind me of 秋瑾. You’re a good person so I hope you discontinue to be an political activist. Or at least change to a anonymous political activist.

Comment by Wong L T


Personally I feel that there is nothing wrong with being a socio-political activist. There is no need to be an anonymous political activist.

This is what I believe in, this is what I do. 🙂

Comment by rachelabsinthe

You should know your place in singapore. Who do you think you are to challenge the elitist in Singapore. Long live pap

Comment by Col Gaddafi

The government serves the people, not themselves. There is no such thing as untouchable elites in Singapore. I serve no elites, why should anyone else? I only work towards a progressive society.

Long live, people’s power.

Comment by rachelabsinthe

It is nice to see young people like you voicing their thoughts and opinions in a sensible manner. I enjoy reading your posts. Please keep up the good work. We do need more sensible and open discussions about issues in Singapore.

Comment by TAP

Thank you for your words of encouragement!

Comment by rachelabsinthe

You r cool!

Comment by Francis

Thank you, you flatter me!

Comment by rachelabsinthe

Hi Rachel,
I am probably your oldest follower at 59, but I thoroughly admire your stance on the issues you have mentioned. Having lived in Singapore most of my life, I can see the changes that are happening and how our young have changed in the times too. I hope that there would me more who are like you, as the new Singapore needs more youngsters like you.

Comment by Noelene

Hi Noelene,

In my immediate surroundings, whatever I do is rather frowned upon so whenever I come across encouraging comments like yours, I feel a warm sense of motivation. 🙂 Thank you very much, and yes, I certainly hope to see more people becoming concerned about social issues as well.


Comment by rachelabsinthe

Hi Rachel,
Just stumbles onto your blog this evening. Love your stance, love your writings. But most of all your courage and the convictions you hold. You go, sista!

Comment by Ram Naidu

Thank you, I appreciate the words of encouragement! 🙂

Comment by rachelabsinthe

Hi Rachel, I am a journalist from UK. I would like to speak to you about a story I am working on. Could you please tell me how to reach you? You can drop me a line dhanya@agimag.co.uk

Comment by wanderlustdhanya


It’s great to know there are young people like you willing to stand up in the face of a dorminanant, self-serving, tyrannical Elite Core of the FamiLee.

Power can be and is corrupt and in Singapore, it is now so evident that even blind followers are changing camps because the sufferring of the citizenry has magnified.

Stay with it and with the group of others because, alone, its a lost cause!

Elections is all about a battle for votes and the battle is in the minds of the electorate.

Without open & free media and communications, how can participants convey their messages to the electorate in the battle for votes?

Good Luck.

Comment by SingaporeSpring2016

I glanced through your writings very quickly, clued in by Kenneth J – God how I sympathize with his father – and I have to say at first impression that you write very impressively, with great content and substantive pointers in your topics.

Will continue reading your stuff again. Keep writing.

Comment by Nechaswallow

you hippies do not know what you are signing up for.

the cost of upkeeping a prisoner for 40-50 years is substantial not including medical expenses which i hope we do not cover.

that said perhaps we can create some form of compulsory labour program where instead of death penalty, they work and the state derives the fruits of their labour.

plenty state buildings to be painted and drains to be cleaned. those serving sentences above 10 years should be automatically enroled.

Comment by concerned

You have all the qualities of an Aware member.

Comment by pokerface

I am a feminist, but not a member of AWARE.

Comment by rachelabsinthe

Hi Rachel!
My name is Nicole and I’m an overseas Singaporean. I find your posts really interesting – you’re unlike the Singaporeans I’ve met. I would really like to meet you to have an overview if Singapolitics! I live in Malaysia and study UK politics for my GCE A Level but know very little about Singapore’s political discourse. Also, I started a campaign against poverty in Singapore. Please let me know how else to contact you.

Comment by leemfnicole

Hi Nicole,

I am so sorry that I must have missed your comment as I have been a little too busy in the past year to maintain my blog. You can contact me at rachelabsinthe at gmail.

Comment by rachelabsinthe

Hi Rachel, I’ve been regularly following your your stories for close to a year. I’m wondering if you’re interested or if you know of someone who has interest in writing a detailed account of the death penalty and the people who go through it.
Please reply no matter what your decision is.

Thank you.

Comment by M.S.

Hi MS,

Sorry for taking such a long time to reply!
It will be great if someone can do so. Do let me know if you know anyone who does, and I will be happy to see if I can be of any assistance.

Comment by rachelabsinthe

Kudos. .great thoughts and bravery. .hope Singapore has more young people like you and less duffers who think living an unrealistic hyperbolic celebrity lifestyle is cool…

Comment by diengplateau4000

Hi Rachel, my name is Leslie and I’m writing an article about the death penalty in Southeast Asia for OZY Magazine. I have a quick question about your well-written post here: https://singaporeantideathpenaltycampaign.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/thoughts-upon-witnessing-the-passing-of-a-death-sentence/comment-page-1/#comment-569. Can you elaborate on what it was like to be in the courtroom during the sentencing. What was the general mood like and what were you feeling? I’d like to use it in my article. Thank you. Feel free to email at leslien@ozy.com.

Comment by Leslie Nguyen-Okwu

Hi Leslie,

Thank you for your interest!

Let me reflect on my memory of that day, and I will drop you an email by tomorrow night.

Comment by rachelabsinthe

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