1 Nov 2005

Petition taken to Singapore commission

From seven.com.au
Date: 01/11/05

Singapore's most senior official in Australia has accepted "with both hands" a petition from parliamentarians pleading with his government to save the life of an Australian man on death row.

Government and opposition MPs on Tuesday presented Singapore High Commissioner Joseph Koh with petitions from more than 100 parliamentarians and 300 parliamentary staff calling for the life of 25-year-old Melbourne man Nguyen Tuong Van to be spared.

Nguyen was caught trafficking heroin in 2002 and faces execution in Singapore, possibly as early as November 11, after losing a clemency appeal last month.

Liberal MP Bruce Baird and Labor MP Laurie Ferguson, both members of the Amnesty International Australia parliamentary group, took the petitions to the Singapore High Commission and met Mr Koh.

"We emphasised the case of Mr Van Nguyen himself, just saying a young guy, first time overseas, who did a foolish thing that should not be punished in terms of the death penalty," Mr Baird told reporters outside the commission in Canberra.

"We asked him to think of the boy's mother and the family and the impact it would have.

"We emphasised also that the representation was bi-partisan representation - over 400 signatures and more would be coming through to them.

"He certainly indicated that he took its significance on board and he could understand why we felt that way and he said 'I take the petition with both hands'."

On Monday in parliament, both sides of politics united to support a motion put by Opposition Leader Kim Beazley asking the Singapore government to spare Nguyen's life.

Mr Koh also met Nguyen's lawyer, Lex Lasry, QC, on Monday.

Mr Baird maintains there is still hope for Nguyen.

"There's always hope," he said.


yk81 said...

As a S'porean, I find the death penalty understandable but totally deplorable for punishment of drug charges. It's just not right to take away someone's life just because he/she have x amount of x drugs on them.

Why can't the authorities just extradite all those foreigners on death row for drug charges to their home countries and let their gov't deal wth it? The costs of doing so can be borne by their embassies; taxpayers here don't have to pay a single cent then, and we won't have to 'kill' anyone. What's the point of hanging someone, risking bilateral ties and then letting their family claim the body? They're dead! What's the point of it all? To send a message that we 'kill' you before your drugs have a chance to get to the streets?! If so, we should be guilty of manslaughter for 'our opinions.'

And why can't they give our own offenders a chance - a second chance at life? Lives are precious. To hang a fellow S'porean on drug charges doesn't mean anything to me; it only means that their lives were worth nothing the moment they were caught with drugs on them. We've been educated not to deal in or have anything to do with drugs, but hey, we're trading with - and the MFA is encouraging investment! - in Myanmar despite US and UK sanctions on that country, aren't we? FOR GOODNESS'S FUCKING SAKE, Myanmar is the second-largest producer of heroin in the godamn world!! So is that a contradition or what??

Because we as taxpayers 'paid' for our country's investments - and also paying for that rope - that 'killed' people like Van Nguyen and our own.

yk81 said...

And where does all that investments go to, ultimately, in Myanmar?

I'm not sure, but I can hazard a guess:

To their corrupted gov't, to their poppies field, to their coke-purifying sweatshops, to drug dealers, to all over the world, to consumers, to people like Van Nguyen and M Shanmugam - who we wrongly hanged.

Think Singaporean said...

I recalled. Immediately after the NKF incident, Ho Ching (mini Lee's wife) and Mrs Goh CT's wife defended Durai that the salary that he's drawing was reasonable as compared if he were to work as a lawyer.

Also, sg imposed a death penalty as a legal mandate for anyone convicted of carrying above a certain amount of drug.

Well, since it's a mandate and the lawyers have no liberty to change it. As such, it can be suggested that so long as anyone is convicted for drug trafficking, then it need not be brought to court at all. The policemen could just simply verify the drug and its weight. If it is above the stipulated weight, the policemen could simply attest it and send the convict to jail or death sentendce immediately. In this way, it could save the lawyers alot of time and effort to carry out the legal suit, in turn, sg could employ less lawyers and save a huge amount of taxpayers' money because most of the death penalties were usually due to drug trafficking.

may be the sg garmen could think about it and provide to all citizens a list of mandate penalties and do away with certain legal matters, such as drug trafficking, chewing gum, littering, etc which need not be brought to court at all. It truly saves alot of time, money and effort.