27 Nov 2005

Anger in Australia as Singapore PM rejects Plea

From 24 x 7 updates
Australian Prime Minister, John Howard made another personal appeal to Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta on Saturday, Australian media reported on Sunday.

But Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong rebuffed Howard’s fifth appeal for clemency for Nguyen Tuong Van, 25, and refused to allow the International Court of Justice to intervene, Howard told reporters in Malta where the two leaders attended a three-day Commonwealth heads of government meeting.

In a letter to Australian MPs, the Speaker of the Singapore Parliament said an example must be made of Nguyen.

"He was caught in possession of almost 400g of pure heroin, enough for more than 26,000 doses of heroin for drug addicts," Abdullah Tarmugi wrote to his Australian counterpart, David Hawker.

"He knew what he was doing and the consequences of his actions."

"There is broad-based concern in this country that what is going on here is simply not right and (that) we ourselves have things that we want to see Mr Van Nguyen do for us in terms of capturing the Mr Bigs of the drug industry and that simply cannot happen if his life has been terminated in Singapore."

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark also raised Nguyen’s case during informal talks in Malta, media reported.

Singapore has one of the world’s toughest drug laws. Laws enacted in 1975 stipulate death by hanging for anyone aged 18 or over convicted of carrying more than 15 grams (0.5 ounce) of heroin, 30 grams (1.1 ounce) of cocaine, 500 grams (17.6 ounces) of cannabis or 250 grams (8.8 ounces) of methamphetamines.

Amnesty International said in a 2004 report that about 420 people had been hanged in Singapore since 1991, mostly for drug trafficking, giving the city-state of 4.2 million people the highest execution rate in the world relative to population.


IndCoup said...

everyone knows that smuggling class A drugs in Singapore means a mandatory death penalty. Why should the Singaporeans make an exception for Nguyen Tuong Van?

Let him hang!!!

IndCoup said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...


You've yet to know the other side of the sg govt, what they'd done! People are fighting for justice, ok.........

Truth said...

There is a difference between fighting for justice and nursing personal grievances. Thus far, the arguments from the supposed justice-seekers appear on quite shaky ground -- giving credence to unsubstantiated and sensational media reprorts -- and they are also repetitive, so much so that even some of those who used to be sympathetic to these people are thoroughly turned off.

Anonymous said...

Exactly, the media is being controlled very much by the sg govt, therefore, people tend to see only one side of the story. This is what I mean people don't have a fair and balance view of the whole issue. Therefore, the "unjustice".

Truth said...

I understand your point, but if on this blog the supposed justice-seekers are finding it hard to convince sceptics without resorting to repetitive points and unsubstantiated FOREIGN media reports, then, with respect, I am somewhat doubtful they will do much better in the open, mainstream media. And on the point of the mainstream media: the celebrity radio talk show hosts in the United States are overwhelmingly conservative, and in fact, right-wing. It is almost a right-wing monopoly. And their influence on voters contributed in no small part to Bush's two victories. Liberal talk show hosts in the US are rare, and where they exist they are not especially popular. Now, by your definition is this "unjustice" (I guess you meant "injustice")? If it so, then it is virtually a worldwide phenomenon.

truth? said...

The defences mounted for the death penalty are also highly repetitive. In fact, it's a one-liner repeated ad nauseum - he knew of the death penalty when he brought in the drugs, so he deserves to die.

As for this "FOREIGN" media reports, where else can you turn to when the local media are mounting an effective stonewalling of the issue? And are you trying to say that the Straits Times is more credible and unbiased than the BBC? Hence the BBC should be ignored?

That the US is currently under a regressive regime is not news. It's the subject of much critique, both within the US and externally. But the US does not make for a "worldwide" phenomenon, nor should it be held up as some sort of vindication for Singapore.

Also, the striking difference is that in the US, after 8 years max, you will have the change of president and administration. And politics there is effectively bipartisan. Last time I checked, the PAP have been in power for 40 years, pretty much unchallenged.

Anonymous said...

while the u.s has fox network, which is left-wing, we also have the new york times, which is right-wing and constantly criticizes bush. at least there's room for some criticism in the states, wheras in singapore, theres only the straits times, which is mostly rhetoric slant to support the gahmen.