Kind of shocked me at first how someone could be this cold-blooded, but given his career, I can understand why.
By Paul Jackson
A NORTHERN Territory pensioner has applied for the job as Singapore's official hangman.
And Keith Sauerwald, 65, says he would have no qualms about executing convicted Australian drug trafficker Van Tuong Nguyen, who is waiting his fate in Singapore's Changi Prison.
"I hate drugs and I hate drug dealers," said Mr Sauerwald, who lives at Parap in Darwin.
"Nguyen has no right to live. He's been dealing in death and deserves to get what the law says in that country." Sauerwald has written to the Singapore High Commissioner in Canberra applying for the hangman's position.
Nguyen, 25, of Melbourne, is due to be executed after being caught with 396g of heroin strapped to his body and in his hand luggage at Singapore's Changi Airport in 2002.
The Australian Government and Opposition have joined forces to request a stay of execution for the Australian.Singapore's chief executioner Darshan Singh is a 73-year-old grandfather who wants to retire but he can't because the government can't find a replacement.
Mr Singh has hanged more than 850 prisoners in 46 years.In his application for the job, Mr Sauerwald said he would have no qualms in releasing the trapdoor and putting to death any person - male or female, Australian or otherwise - who had been sentenced to death in Singapore.
He said he felt ashamed to be an Australian because so many fellow Australians are involved in the illicit drug trade, not only in Asian countries but worldwide.
"I also feel very ashamed to be an Australian knowing that our Prime Minister, and his fellow administrators of the Australian Government, refuse to admit that drugs are a big problem, not only in Australia but worldwide."
Contrary to what our politicians are saying, I strongly believe that your country is doing the right thing in your control of the drug problem."I applaud the Singapore Government's action and your strong stand in your fight against the drug factions in our society."Mr Sauerwald said Australia was full of do-gooders and bleeding hearts when it came to people being caught with drugs.
Personally, I am absolutely neutral on the Nguyen issue. On one hand is the need to eradicate the drug problem, and on the other is Nguyen's circumstance. Between these two, I'd rather leave it for more educated and experienced people to debate this out.
It is worth remembering that not all Australians are behind Nguyen's cause. Not all of them feel that the death penalty is unjust, and some even support Singapore's stand, contrary to what most people think. I've come across a few articles from Australian media, and statements, which support the execution.
This article, coming on the heels of Singapore's announcement that they've rejected the clemency appeal, seems to have sealed Nguyen's fate. Whether it is right or wrong, only time and wisdom will tell.