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Chieng Vui Leng
1st December 2005, 11:46 AM
Nguyen Tuong Van, a Vietnamese-Australian covicted of smuggling drugs while in transit in Singapore, is scheduled to hang in six hours from the time I write these words.

Background Information

Van, and his twin brother Khoa, were born to Kim Nguyen in a refugee camp in 1980 before coming to Australia. In December 2002, Khoa had incurred some legal debts and Van agreed to be a drug mule, helping a drug syndicate smuggle some drugs from Cambodia to Melbourne in order to help his brother settle the debts. While walking through a metal detector, the drugs were discovered. Nguyen was arrested straighaway, and is sentenced to death in March 2004 under the Misuse of Drugs Act. He was carrying 396.2g of heroin, 25 times the amount that attracts an automatic death sentence. Singapore has rejected all pleas for clemency from the Australian government, and Nguyen is scheduled to hang at 6am Singapore time on 2 Dec 2005.

Analysis

The Singapore government is screwed. The sentence is totally disproportionate to the crime. They are merciless, and refuse to even let Nguyen and his mother have a final hug before the execution. Their agreement to allow them to hold hands was a meagre compensation.

Besides, hanging is extremely cruel. Think of putting your dog on a choke-chain and lifting him in the air. If the death penalty must be imposed it should be done by lethal injection. In this case it shouldn't be done at all.

The death penalty also contravenes international human rights laws.

We need change.

------

Thanks for taking the time to read. I would greatly appreciate some opinions and/or comments on this.

P.S. I had to remove the last paragraph as it touches on politics, which is a very sensitive issue, especially in Singapore.

Heald
1st December 2005, 12:12 PM
I've heard the government is strict. Apparently chewing gum is illegal. Just make sure these disparaging comments don't attract the attention of the internet police.

Master of Paradox
1st December 2005, 05:01 PM
Chew gum, spit, or feed pigeons in Singapore and you're in for a stiff fine at best. I've heard the government was bad, but that's overkill...

*Checks his watch* About thirty minutes to go...

Roy Karrde
1st December 2005, 05:34 PM
You know, I know the guy was trying to do good and help his brother and all. But you know what, I have very little if any sympathy for this guy. He knew the punishment going in, and if not then he was incredibly stupid for not thinking ahead and looking up the punishment in Singapore for transporting drugs. Worst of all the drugs were not his, he was going to hand them off to most likely drug dealers. At that point there is a chance that these drugs could have worked their way into the hands of children. He got himself caught up in a very very dirty buisness, a buisness that runs the risk of death. I'm sorry but I have almost no sympathy for someone that is part of the process that could lead to drugs being in the hands of children.

Heald
1st December 2005, 05:53 PM
^ - A man giving a talk about drugs in school with examples could lead to drugs getting into the hands of children. Homeless people who are forced to work dealing drugs by thugs just to survive could lead to drugs getting into the hands of children. Hell, dance and trance clubs can lead to drugs getting into the hands of children. So we should kill all demonstrators, homeless people and club owners?

Hell, if you're so concerned about the children, we should kill everyone in the tobacco industry, who make it their priority to try and get children smoking as early as possible (within legal boundaries). Tobacco's a drug and leads to hundreds of thousands of deaths due to cancer and artery blockages.

I'm not trying to downplay the seriousness of the offence, but this is all a matter of opinion. Unlike cases like murder or child rape, there are vastly differing opinions on the drug trade. The Netherlands and the UK are fairly liberal and as a result, the price of drugs stays low, meaning drug dealing isn't as profitable and therefore not worth the risk as it is in, say, Singapore, where drugs are like gold-dust and so the price stays high, leading to all sorts of crime and mass profits for the dealers. You're completely against drugs? Fine, but that doesn't mean that's the be-all, end-all.

Also, look at the background information. It isn't exactly this guy's life has been all sunshine and cinnamon buns. A refugee having to resort to drug smuggling. Hell, the smugglers don't earn even a hundredth of the profit that the dealers do. It's easy for you to be so critical when you have life so easy but this guy deserves a great deal of sympathy.

.hacker
1st December 2005, 05:55 PM
I know that countries have different methods of punishment for different crimes that we are accustomed to, but to have an instant death penalty for drugs?! I mean, they didn't hurt anyone directly (like murder, steal, rape, etc). People who also take drugs 99% of the time are addicted and have the "need" for it. They weren't forcing people to take drugs... (Please note: I don't support or encourage the use of drugs).

Smuggling drugs needs to have a penalty, but the death penalty is not appropiate!

Roy Karrde
1st December 2005, 06:14 PM
^ - A man giving a talk about drugs in school with examples could lead to drugs getting into the hands of children.

If he is assesting in the transportation or distribuation of drugs then your right, which is what seperates this guy from a man giving a talk about drugs in school, other wise it seems your grasping on this one.


Homeless people who are forced to work dealing drugs by thugs just to survive could lead to drugs getting into the hands of children.

If the Homeless person distributes the drugs to children then your right, he carries as much responcability for his action then the person that gave him the drugs to give out.


Hell, dance and trance clubs can lead to drugs getting into the hands of children. So we should kill all demonstrators, homeless people and club owners?

Nice blanket statement, but if they are giving drugs to minors or helping in distrubuting drugs to minors, and I mean actively helping, then I believe that the law should be followed to the letter. In this country the law is death, here and in other countries the law is different. But there it is death, he knew what he was getting into just like the Homeless person in your situation.


Hell, if you're so concerned about the children, we should kill everyone in the tobacco industry, who make it their priority to try and get children smoking as early as possible (within legal boundaries). Tobacco's a drug and leads to hundreds of thousands of deaths due to cancer and artery blockages.

And again if the US or other countries that house tobacco products had a law saying that if you sold, created, or carried tobacco products in this country, you will be put to death. Then I would expect the law to be followed. Yet we are not talking about Cigarettes here, we are talking about Hard Drugs. Drugs that kill you the first time you take them or shortly after.


I'm not trying to downplay the seriousness of the offence, but this is all a matter of opinion.

Seems like that from here...


Unlike cases like murder or child rape, there are vastly differing opinions on the drug trade. The Netherlands and the UK are fairly liberal and as a result, the price of drugs stays low, meaning drug dealing isn't as profitable and therefore not worth the risk as it is in, say, Singapore, where drugs are like gold-dust and so the price stays high, leading to all sorts of crime and mass profits for the dealers. You're completely against drugs? Fine, but that doesn't mean that's the be-all, end-all.

That's fine but I also dont make the laws in Singapore, the point is this guy broke the law, he knew he was breaking the law when he went in to the situation. Most likely he figured he would break the law a few more times. Now this isnt something simple like selling hot computers down on Central Park West, or Downloading Illigal Porn, this is the transportation of drugs. Drugs that like I have said before that could possibly wind up in the hands of minors. As for the Child Rapests and Murderes, exspecially cop killers, personally I believe that they should get what this guy is getting.


Also, look at the background information. It isn't exactly this guy's life has been all sunshine and cinnamon buns.

And that excuses what he did....how?


A refugee having to resort to drug smuggling. Hell, the smugglers don't earn even a hundredth of the profit that the dealers do. It's easy for you to be so critical when you have life so easy but this guy deserves a great deal of sympathy.


So he had a hard life and I am supposed to feel sorry for him? A few weeks ago a Illigal Immigrant killed a Cop in South Dallas, the guy deserves to fry in my opinion, but he had a hard life and most likely will be sent back to Mexico. Does that make what he did any less terrible? Should I feel sorry for this guy instead of wanting his ass to fry, slowly and painfully? No, the guy did the crime and should pay the price for it. Just like in this situation the guy did the crime, should he die for it? No, but I dont make the laws in Singapore, nor am I in any position to dictate how a country should or should not run itself, and frankly Heald neither are you.


Smuggling drugs needs to have a penalty, but the death penalty is not appropiate!

I agree with that, the punishment is servere, but he also knew what he was getting into. He had a choice and he decided to transport drugs into a country which has the harshest penilty for the transportation of drugs. He could have turned around several times but never did, he deserves what he gets, even if all of us find it overkill.

Drago
1st December 2005, 06:55 PM
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000081&sid=aLyJnoCqormw

Australia Mourns as Drug Smuggler Nguyen Hanged in Singapore
Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Singapore executed Australian drug smuggler Nguyen Tuong Van today after the government declined requests from the Australian government to spare his life.

The 25-year old Australian citizen was hanged this morning, Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement. Church bells rang out in Nguyen's home town of Melbourne at 9 a.m., when he was scheduled to be executed.

``This was a drug case and Singapore has been steadfast with this rule,'' said David Cohen, director of Asian economic forecasting at Action Economics in Singapore, a research company. ``Australia would be sacrificing something too by denying themselves trade with Singapore. Deep down, the Australians probably recognize what's at stake.''

Nguyen Tuong Van has been executed. Despite how unfortunate the situation was, I have to agree with Roy Karrde. He broke the law and knew what would happen should he be caught. If there is zero-tolerance, then zero-tolerance had to be exercised. I, like most others, don't feel that execution suits the crime, but it is the way that the law was written. Similarly, I don't approve of hanging as opposed to lethal injection. However, these are matters of questioning the laws of Singapore, rather than the specific case here.

In his defence, Nguyen was stated to have been very brave and accepting of his fate days before his death. He was well-liked and remained respectable. Though I question his decision, I admire his courage.

Despite the public outcry, I doubt Singapore will review these laws. Further into the Bloomberg article, the claim is made that Singapore 'has the highest rate of execution per capita in the world, according to Amnesty International.'

The above isn't meant to offend in any way, it's just my opinion that individual cases do not outweigh the specifics of the law.

.hacker
1st December 2005, 07:28 PM
Further into the Bloomberg article, the claim is made that Singapore 'has the highest rate of execution per capita in the world, according to Amnesty International.'



One has to wonder if this will control the actions of the citizens of Singapore, or will only outrage them even more.... :confused:

Chieng Vui Leng
1st December 2005, 09:51 PM
I am just back from St Ignatius Church in Richmond. I attended to show my support for him.

Many of you said "it is the law". Well, the law is screwed. I had a chat with the manager at the student accomodation where I stay, and he said that the penalty for smuggling drugs into Melbourne is like, a couple of years' jail? There is no such thing as a death sentence here in Australia, it's a third-world country policy, in this case used by a first-world country like Singapore.

The mandatory death penalty is too restrictive. It does not allow the judges to make the decision based on proportion of the crime. Besides, it contravenes international human rights laws - and Amnesty International is working towards enforcing the human rights laws.

People say that had Nguyen succeeded in his smuggling, he would be bringing in 26000 doses of heroin into the country. So, does that mean taking his life would save the lives of those addicts? NO! How can you compare it that way? The addicts are always able to obtain drugs elsewhere, not just from Nguyen. It's not as if Nguyen is the "heroin taxi". The execution is just "so wrong", to quote someone that I met at the church.

Father Peter Norden's mass ended at five minutes to nine, AEDT, after which we kept absolute silence, broken only by people's sobs. When the bells tolled at 9 o clock AEDT, some cried hysterically. I myself was rather upset, though I maintained my composure. The lady next to me said, "It is the beginning of the end. Nguyen Tuong Van will be a martyr towards stamping out the death penalty in Singapore and across the world. This is the beginning of the end."

Dark-San
1st December 2005, 10:02 PM
[b][size=3] Let me say a few words regarding this incident. As a Singaporean, I find it nothing wrong in our judgement. Harsh penatlies are there to be held in the first place to make the its citizens as well as foreigners to think twice before acting out the crime.

It is the same case as Michael Faye the last time when he was caught vandalising a vehicle.


Besides, hanging is extremely cruel. Think of putting your dog on a choke-chain and lifting him in the air.

[b][size=3] I think that comparsion is baseless. The execution style of hanging here is that the moment they released the flooring, the sudden drop will defintely killed the criminal in an instant. No chance of the criminal will struggled and die as mentioned by you.



I am a PR of Singapore and I have studied there for 10 years.

[b][size=3] I am a Singaporean and I've been here for 21 years. Long enough to see that it is the harsh sentences in our law system that contribute to the fact that we have one of the lowest crime rate around.



Chew gum, spit, or feed pigeons in Singapore and you're in for a stiff fine at best. I've heard the government was bad, but that's overkill...

[b][size=3] The government isn't bad just stricter than most governments.

I don't have much time to look through this topic in finer details. Will look into it again once I reach home.

mr_pikachu
1st December 2005, 10:05 PM
I'm not sure I agree with the classification of the death penalty as a "third-world policy". We have it here in America, and frankly, I think that it is warranted in some of the worst crimes. But this is way, way overkill, in my view. I do think that the death penalty is at times viewed a little too cautiously in America; frankly, I think there are several crimes these days which are under-penalized. (I would give a further opinion on that, but I don't want this topic to turn into a flame war over that.)

I think, however, that this case is ridiculous. What was particularly shocking to me was not necessarily that this guy was given the death penalty, but that 396.2 grams of heroin was 25 times the required level for a mandatory death sentence. Frankly, that's just insane. I've never been an advocate of illegal drug use, and I doubt I ever will be. But come on! A death sentence for 16 grams of heroin? That's way, way too harsh in my estimation.

Roy Karrde
1st December 2005, 10:08 PM
You said the law is screwed and I agree with you, the problem is it is not up to me, or you, or anyone else on this board except for Dark-san to change this law. It is up to the people of Singapore, the only ones that can change that law are them. They can protest and sign pertitions and do their best to change the law. Until that happens the law is the law and it has to be followed. One guy cant just be let off becuase he had noble intentions. I do not know of any little girls or boys that say they want to become Prostatutes or Drug Dealers when they grow up, but some of them do out of dire circumstances. And they get punished for their choices just like Nguyen did.

As for Amnesty International and the International Human Rights laws, I would hope that they would work for change, but in reality there are much MUCH worse things in this world right now when it comes to Human Rights Violations than the death of one drug smuggler. Look at the Middle East or Africa for examples.

I doubt Nguyen would bring 26,000 doses of heroin into a country, and I agree that taking his life will not save the lives of those already addicted. But then again think that maybe just maybe this event will cause more drug trafficers to think twice before smuggling drugs into any country. Even if it doesn't stop the majority of them, if it does stop a few, or even one. Then some real good has come out of this event.

Last but not least, the statment the lady made about him becoming a martyr. If her words do become true and he does become a martyr, I really hope it's non-violent, the last thing anyone needs right now are riots in Singapore or anywhere else. And for the Death Penalty, as cruel and harsh as it may be, it needs to stand. There is some very real and very dangerous evil in this world, Dallas and Ft Worth have seen alot of it in the last few weeks with the deaths of two great heros. The people that shot them should and hopefully will be put to death due to their actions. Anyway it is up to the people of Singapore not us to decide for themselves, if they wish to keep the law, and it helps them keep drugs off the street, then maybe other countries should start looking at some strickter penilties for Drug Dealing.

.hacker
1st December 2005, 10:15 PM
[b][size=3] I think that comparsion is baseless. The execution style of hanging here is that the moment they released the flooring, the sudden drop will defintely killed the criminal in an instant. No chance of the criminal will struggled and die as mentioned by you.



Hanging does not always kill the criminal. The fall should break the neck. However, if not done correctly, the criminal can survive the fall, but strangle to death... Also, I've heard of cases that if you are light enough that you can survive the ordeal.

So, hanging does not always kill the criminal instantly.

Andrew
1st December 2005, 10:37 PM
I don't agree with the fact he was killed by hanging, but really, if you're going to be taking drugs into countries that have such severe penalties, you need to accept their punishments since its their laws.

So, he kind of deserved it then. Oh well.

Poor Schappelle.

Chieng Vui Leng
1st December 2005, 11:11 PM
I am not saying the death penalty is totally wrong. I met some "extremists" in the church who said "death penalty should not be administered under all circumstances", but that is not my view. If he murdered someone, fair enough. But 396.2g of heroin? It's like referring a student to the police for talking in class.

Sure, there were 26000 doses of heroin in there, but those addicts have other ways and means of obtaining them. It just cannot be compared that way, the drug addicts were drug addicts. Nguyen was only trying to help his twin. Besides, the money he earns is peanuts compared to what the Burmese drug lords get.

While many people die from accidents or diesease, Nguyen's death was totally deliberate and avoidable. If only the Singapore government did not have such a hard heart.

Dark-San
1st December 2005, 11:18 PM
I'm not sure I agree with the classification of the death penalty as a "third-world policy". We have it here in America, and frankly, I think that it is warranted in some of the worst crimes.

[b][size=3] I did a little research. It seems like besides USA and Singapore, Japan and South Korea are another 2 nations from the first world that still have the death penatly.


I doubt Nguyen would bring 26,000 doses of heroin into a country, and I agree that taking his life will not save the lives of those already addicted.

[b][size=3] Agree. However it will save the lives of all those that are not yet addicted. Ever heard of the phrase, prevention is better than cure?

Actually besides smuggling large doses of drugs that earn you a date with the reaper, crimes like kidnapping too are the same.

Roy Karrde
1st December 2005, 11:21 PM
The roll of any government is to protect it's people. Nguyen put the lives of at most 26,000 Singapore people in jeopardy by bringing in drugs to the country. Now again I am working with the idea of one dose per person, I would guess the number in reality is very less. Earlier tonight I was talking to Nabooru about this, and think about it this way yes the people that truly want to get drugs will still be able to get the drugs, but by cracking down so harshly on the drug smugglers, the price of the product is raised significantly. At that point only the very wealthy or powerful would be able to get the drugs and not the average Joe off the street. Putting it another way, isn't it worth cracking down so hard if it brings the drug rate among children down to almost 0 due to the high price?


Agree. However it will save the lives of all those that are not yet addicted. Ever heard of the phrase, prevention is better than cure?
Of course, and like I said above, by inforcing these laws it brings the drug rates among those that are not already addicted down to almost 0. And for those that are already addicted I am sure it is easier for them to just leave the country then to just stay around and pay the high prices.

mr_pikachu
1st December 2005, 11:33 PM
You have to realize, though, that selling drugs is not like selling apples or plane tickets or any other legal commodity. As an illegal substance, it essentially ignores the normal rules of commerce. It is intended to work behind the scenes, away from the prying eyes of the public. And when no one is looking, everything can change. Instead of paying someone for drugs, if the price cannot be paid, you can end up with killing over drugs. (This happens to an extent anyway regardless of prices, but when people are desperate due to extraordinarily high prices, they may go further to get what they crave.)

Additionally, that idea assumes that all or the majority of the people who deal drugs will be caught, and unfortunately that is probably not the case. Unless you enforce an extreme version of martial law, the problem of watching and scrutinizing every person in the country would be far too vast. And besides, as has already been mentioned, even in the best-case scenario of stopping all drug traffic in Singapore, people can simply run to another country to get their illegal substances.

Drug use is certainly a big problem and measures need to be taken to stop or at least curtail it. But I am not sure that this is the right way to do it.

Dark-San
2nd December 2005, 12:18 AM
I really hope it's non-violent, the last thing anyone needs right now are riots in Singapore or anywhere else.

[b][size=3] Thanks for your concern Roy. You can reassure that there are no riots or some sort that I've heard of here at the moment.


If he murdered someone, fair enough. But 396.2g of heroin? It's like referring a student to the police for talking in class.

Sure, there were 26000 doses of heroin in there, but those addicts have other ways and means of obtaining them. It just cannot be compared that way, the drug addicts were drug addicts. Nguyen was only trying to help his twin. Besides, the money he earns is peanuts compared to what the Burmese drug lords get.

While many people die from accidents or diesease, Nguyen's death was totally deliberate and avoidable. If only the Singapore government did not have such a hard heart.


[b][size=3] Drugs are illegal and shouldn't be brought any countries without the approval from the respective governments. Each sentence passes here and anywhere else in the world carries at least a minimum jail term of several years if convicted. It shouldn't be compared like talking in class and refering to police.

Yes, they can get them anywhere and anytime. However if they are caught red handed, it would be death for them too.

What do you mean by totally deliberate and avoidable? Singapore is well- known for it's tough stance against crime and terrorism. So if he had known it in the first place, why would he take such a risk? Now he is caught he has to pay for the price.

It has been taught since young in Singapore's education that for every actions that you do, you have to be responsible for it. You went through Singapore education system before.

Besides this is our stand and we would appreciate if the world respects our judgement. I find it pointless to argue anymore since it is already 1322hrs here. Exactly 5h 22 min since his death.

Chieng Vui Leng
2nd December 2005, 01:57 AM
Well Dark-San, I have to agree that you have a point. I apologize if I came on too strongly just now - I was just rather emotional, and got a little bit carried away.

About the government's stand on drugs, I understand their position. I guess that's where we differ.

So yeah.

Gavin Luper
2nd December 2005, 05:12 AM
This was all so stupid. He shouldn't have been sentenced to death for drug trafficking, it's absurd. Aside from the ethical reasons of murdering a person for a crime they have committed (which, for the MOST part, I think is terrible), this is not a crime that even "warrants" that kind of treatment. I know the Governments of these countries (largely South-East Asian countries) claim that the drugs brought in could have ruined thousands of lives. Yes, that's true, and with heroin, especially so. BUT: the people who buy the drugs off the street, etc, are making a choice to do so. They choose to 'ruin their lives', and while the drug suppliers and traffickers are ANYTHING but innocent, it is the knowing and "consenting" users of the drugs who are responsible for their actions. As such, the claim that drug traffickers have to potential to ruin lives is a complete farce, in my opinion.

I prayed hard about this, that somehow things would work out and he would not die: despite the bloke being obviously guilty and obviously in the wrong (he broke the law, after all), I just don't think Van Nguyen should have been executed. It's just not right. In any case, I truly feel for his family, in particular his mother, who was allowed to hold his hand but not give him a final hug. That was ridiculous and wrong; it would have broken her. The authorities clearly have absolutely no sense of justice or compassion or a mother's love for her child whatsoever.

The Aussie Government and the Catholic Church both made calls for clemency, but they were ignored. It was the Singapore powers-that-be who are in the wrong for this. Shame on Singapore's Government.

Despite everything, I hope this serves an important lesson to the morons who are still trying to get drugs in or out of South-East Asia: don't do it, idiots!

Crazy
2nd December 2005, 06:22 AM
The guy knew the law and did it anyway, it is no one's fault but his. I don't really like the death penalty in this case, but he had a choice and he was hurting people (indirectly, but he still hurt them).

Girafarig
2nd December 2005, 09:06 PM
[b][size=3] Thanks for your concern Roy. You can reassure that there are no riots or some sort that I've heard of here at the moment.

[b][size=3] Drugs are illegal and shouldn't be brought any countries without the approval from the respective governments. Each sentence passes here and anywhere else in the world carries at least a minimum jail term of several years if convicted. It shouldn't be compared like talking in class and refering to police.

Yes, they can get them anywhere and anytime. However if they are caught red handed, it would be death for them too.

What do you mean by totally deliberate and avoidable? Singapore is well- known for it's tough stance against crime and terrorism. So if he had known it in the first place, why would he take such a risk? Now he is caught he has to pay for the price.

It has been taught since young in Singapore's education that for every actions that you do, you have to be responsible for it. You went through Singapore education system before.

Besides this is our stand and we would appreciate if the world respects our judgement. I find it pointless to argue anymore since it is already 1322hrs here. Exactly 5h 22 min since his death.


That's because it's illegal to have protests in Singapore, in addition to any criticism of the government. I don't have anything against the people of Singapore, and I recognize the fact that they have the right to dictate the laws in their country, but the government and it's insane rules are fucked up.

Roy Karrde
2nd December 2005, 11:44 PM
Oh for the love of god, this isn't the 70s this is the day of the Internet, CNN, Fox, and insta-news. If the people of Singapore wanted to protest their government then the government of Singapore would not stop them no matter what the law says. You know why? Becuase the second the government of Singapore steps in, you will have camera's recording shots of a ten year old kid or someone being handcuffed for a peaceful protest. Everyone country on the face of this planet remembers what happened in China fifteen years ago when cameras recorded protesters being killed. China is still paying for that event. No country, and I mean no country on the face of this planet would want the type of bad publicity that would happen if a peaceful protests was cut down. And by god as hungry as the 24 Hour News networks are for ratings, I can assure you that they would not let anyone forget it.

Chieng Vui Leng
3rd December 2005, 08:10 AM
Oh for the love of god, this isn't the 70s this is the day of the Internet, CNN, Fox, and insta-news. If the people of Singapore wanted to protest their government then the government of Singapore would not stop them no matter what the law says. You know why? Becuase the second the government of Singapore steps in, you will have camera's recording shots of a ten year old kid or someone being handcuffed for a peaceful protest. Everyone country on the face of this planet remembers what happened in China fifteen years ago when cameras recorded protesters being killed. China is still paying for that event. No country, and I mean no country on the face of this planet would want the type of bad publicity that would happen if a peaceful protests was cut down. And by god as hungry as the 24 Hour News networks are for ratings, I can assure you that they would not let anyone forget it.


Roy, didn't u hear the news some time ago that the entire riot police turned up in full riot gear when four people staged a peaceful protest outside the CPF building? All they were doing was standing outside, holding a banner asking the CPF to be transparent. Note that in the law an illegal gathering is deemed as having five or more people.

But yes, there was a lot of publicity on it. For more info go to http://www.singaporedemocrat.org.

mr_pikachu
3rd December 2005, 09:13 AM
Chieng Vui Leng is right. Yes, if a large enough force in Singapore rose up, the government wouldn't dare take action (or if they did, they would face the consequences). The problem is getting such a group together when even considering such a rally may as well be illegal. And if you think that governments can't make crazy efforts to control the information which escapes their country... you've never heard of a place called Russia.

Roy Karrde
3rd December 2005, 10:07 AM
Oh c'mon if it was a protest of say a 100 or 1,000 and the riot police came in to stop it then everyone would hear about it. Somewhere in all those protesters there would be a cell phone or digital camera and at that point it only takes minutes until every major news outlet in the world has pictures of it. And the protest would need to be more than 4 people, no one is going to give a damn if 4 or 5 or 10 people are disrupted for protesting something. If real change is going to happen anywhere then it has to be the majority of the people to inact this change.

Also I'm just going to throw out a wacky thought here, maybe just maybe the people of Singapore are happy with this law. Here we are standing from the outside with most of us never actually have gone to Singapore, and saying this must be stopped. I mean if this thing really stops the drugs in Singapore and keeps the crime rate obseenly low, then maybe they are happy with it? The only one here that can really vouch for these people is Dark-san and he seems content with it. Then again that is just a wacky crazy thought.

mr_pikachu
3rd December 2005, 10:14 AM
You could well be right. The people of Singapore may be happy with the law. But even if they're disgusted with it, it can be very difficult to organize a resistance when people are unwilling to do so for fear of the law. Logically, you're right. The government likely wouldn't dare take action. But that doesn't change an illogical emotion such as fear.

Chieng Vui Leng
3rd December 2005, 10:26 AM
As a Singapore PR who studied there for a decade, I would say that yes, the majority of the people are happy with the law on drug smuggling. This is what I found out from the news. My family who is there tells me that it is an "effective deterrent". Of course I don't agree with them, it is just not right to take someone's life for something so petty, but there again there's nothing I can do.

If you approach the average Singaporean, they would be too absorbed in their daily issues to even care about this sort of thing. They can't be bothered to go demonstrating for something like this, even if it weren't illegal. The term for this is 'kiasu', which literally translates to 'afraid of losing'.

Definition:
Kiasu is a Hokkien (a Chinese spoken variant) word for 'extreme fear of losing'. This word is so widely used by Singaporeans and Malaysians that it is incorporated into their English vocabulary (in the form of Singlish or Manglish). It is often used in describing the social attitudes of people, especially about East Asian society and its values. Its widespread use is often due to the fact that these attitudes are common—not to lose out in a highly competitive society, for example, to the extent of parents imposing heavy study labour on their children in their wish to make them at the very top of all other students. Growing up with this attitude, these students often become ambitious businesspeople, with the desire to be on top in wealth and prestige.

Such an attitude is often highly competitive, and its emphasis is to be above all other people, even if it means putting other people down. But to be kiasu is not only to be competitive. Kiasu people are driven out of fear of losing probably more than the desire to succeed.[/size]

So yeah.

Roy Karrde
3rd December 2005, 10:34 AM
If they are in fear of the government and dont want to change the law becuase of that fear, then it will never get changed. Besides it's not like Singapore is a third world country or something, I would believe that most of them have the internet. So where are all the people speaking out against the government, you cant tell me that these people are so afraid to speak out that they cant even send a simple email to CNN or something. The more and more we talk about this, the more and more it seems that these people simply do not want to change the law. It looks more like they are content then anything else. I mean there is absolutely no proof that anyone of us have that even a simple minority of people in Singapore want this law to change, all we can really do is assume what they want.

As for Chieng's post: Alright there we go, end of discussion. You guys can spin it what ever way you want and throw out as many terms as you want to explain the lack of innvolvement. But the true reality of the situation is that they just do not want the law to change. As hard as it may be for some people to understand, they just like the law. Anyway as I have been trying to say ever since the beginning of this topic, there are much MUCH worse things in this world than the death of a few drug dealers/carriers. Women get abused everyday in places like Saudi Arabia, people in North Korea are executed and killed for almost no reason. In Africa there are whole tribes of people just being wiped off the face of this planet, while there are also countries full of people that are starving but their Government is too corrupt to do anything about it. How about we all focus on those things and then when they are solved, at that point we can give a damn about the drug dealers in Singapore.

Chieng Vui Leng
3rd December 2005, 10:54 AM
As hard as it may be for some people to understand, they just like the law. Anyway as I have been trying to say ever since the beginning of this topic, there are much MUCH worse things in this world than the death of a few drug dealers/carriers. Women get abused everyday in places like Saudi Arabia, people in North Korea are executed and killed for almost no reason. In Africa there are whole tribes of people just being wiped off the face of this planet, while there are also countries full of people that are starving but their Government is too corrupt to do anything about it. How about we all focus on those things and then when they are solved, at that point we can give a damn about the drug dealers in Singapore.


All too true.

mr_pikachu
3rd December 2005, 11:13 AM
Fair enough. I'll say this much - Chieng definitely has a lot more first-hand experience of the mentality in Singapore than I do. So I'll leave it at that.