12 Jun 2006

Howard urged to pressure Singapore on death penalty


ABC News Online

Howard urged to pressure Singapore on death penalty
A barrister who represented a Melbourne man hanged in Singapore last year is calling on Prime Minister John Howard to raise the issue when he meets with his Singaporean counterpart tomorrow.

Lex Lasry, QC [pictured], represented 23-year-old Van Nguyen, who was arrested in Singapore in 2002 on drugs charges.

He was executed last year after an appeal for clemency was rejected.

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong arrives in Australia tomorrow for trade and security talks with Mr Howard.

Mr Lasry says he wants Mr Howard to join a campaign to change Singapore's law regarding the death penalty.

"It operated very unfairly in the case of Van Nguyen," he said.

"Lee Hsien Loong said that the rule of law had taken its course when Van Nguyen was executed but it wasn't the rule of law at all.

"The only thing that's even worse than a death penalty is a mandatory death penalty which takes the courts out of the equation.

"Ultimately I say that Singapore will have to change that law, it's an extraordinarily unfair law."




12 comments:

Anonymous said...

While Howard is discussing Singapore and the death penalty, he must also bring up singapore's cowardice in not offering troups on the ground to help the problem in East Timor.

Mini Lee has already been reported as claiming Singapore has not been asked for help. This shows a w broad streak of yellow right down the country's back.

Singapore has a great history of never sending it's soldiers to war. One just question this.

Probably the country would not stand any losses, and one wanders wshether or not Singapore troups would put up the same type of show as the underfed, badly fed and trained Argentinian troups in the Falklands back in 1983. The poor chaps where only little more than cannon fodder. The Singapore counterport,skinny, half blind would be little better.

Hundreds of body bags arriving at the airport would be a great PAP vote loser.

Isn't if funny, whenever there is trouble, Singapore always claims to help with their back up people and computors, they never offer soldiers to fight on the ground.

God help them if they ever faced a hand to hand battle with soldiers from Malaysia or Indonesia.

As for Singapore's hanging laws, they will never be changed. The Islands rulers will never be swayed by outside pressure or influence.

Aand that goes for any law however unreasonable.

Anonymous said...

From Channel Newsasia: "Singaporeans should be proud of contributions to history: KMT's Lien from Taiwan"

"Said Mr Yeo, "All this is a very important part of our history which explains why we are what we are. Our one-China policy is not just an alternative we choose; it has deep roots in our history, in the role that our Chinese forebears played in the Chinese revolution, and which in turn after the war created a separate independent nationalism in Singapore."

Is BG Yeo trying to hint that we also follow one-China policy? Then he better wake up. Singapore and China are two different countries. We are not a communist country!! And we also don't need a communist counterpart to come to our country to spread communism ideology either.

Matilah_Singapura said...

No govt is under any obligation to protect any of its citizens in foreign territory.

Unfortunate as it is that Nguyen was killed, S'pore's draconian drug laws are legion.

Mr Lasry is well-intended but he is allowing his emotions to cloud his reason. Singapore is sovereign—yes, warts and all; as is Australia.

What kind of "pressure" does Mr Lasry have in mind? Megaphone diplomacy of imposing the "morality" of Australia? Does Mr Lasry himself speak for all Australians? Is he that presumptous and pretentious?

50% of Australians polled support a death penalty for drugs, and many more for terrorist acts and murder.

It seems My Lasry, as well intended as he is, is out of step.

Anonymous said...

Singapore remains a third world emerging market. And with it's hanging laws and bent judicery will remains so for the next fifty years. The old monies in europe, London and Paris, choke with laughter when them name Singapore is spoken of they will aalways say is a tiny country attempting to creep up the backsides of China and America.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised we have no comments on Singapore's yellow streak.

Capt_Canuck said...

Even though 50% of the people may have voted in support of the death penalty in Australia, majority does not always mean a strong sailing ship, sometimes it means that all the fools are in the same life boat.

Lasry does have a hard uphill battle ahead of him, but then again, unlike the soldiers in the anonymous comment ahead of yours, at least he is willing to go to battle and fight for something that he believes in. Whereas I read so many comments on so many Singapore/PAP/Gov't/legal bashing sites and yet there are so few Singaporeans fighting for rights and freedoms out in the streets of Singapore or the halls of PAP power. Seems almost to me like Singapore has never had to fight for freedom (since sovereignty was basically given to Singapore) with the exception of the Japanese occupation (didn't the Japanese end up just leaving cause of the end of the war, not because of Singaporeans fighting and forcing them out?) so when oppressed or unhappy about rule, they don't know how to stand up and fight but instead sit back and wait for the freedom to be given to them.

Remember, what is easy isn't always right, and what is right is not always easy.

Anonymous said...

tbank you captains canuk, you follow my point. Singaporeans wait, are not willing to fight, because they have always suffered from terrible cowardice.
Walk the streets of the city, you will leanuise most of the population are frightened of their shadows. You ask them to move to the back of the bus, and they immediately shift shaking in fright. You laughingly say boo to a singaporeans in the street and they nearly have a heart attack. So you see their is build in cowardice.
They have been taught from kindergarden to obay at all times, and never question.

Anonymous said...

tbank you captain canuck, you follow my point. Singaporeans wait, are not willing to fight, because they have always suffered from terrible cowardice.
Walk the streets of the city, you will leanuise most of the population are frightened of their shadows. You ask them to move to the back of the bus, and they immediately shift shaking in fright. You laughingly say boo to a singaporeans in the street and they nearly have a heart attack. So you see their is build in cowardice.
They have been taught from kindergarden to obay at all times, and never question.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Hitler, Stalin and Mao also fought for their beliefs.

If you can make a moral judgement on the cowardice of the people, then a moral judgement on Mr Lazry's motives and objectives is also fair.

IMO there is a moral point to the death penalty: justice.

I don't agree with any kind of "justice" for victimless crimes—criminalising gay lifestyles, porno, prostitution, gambling, drug taking and commerce, money laundering etc.

However I do support a death penalty for pre meditated murder with the judgement to execute the murderer based on irrefutable hard evidence, not heresay, not a priori or "circumstantial" evidence—hard, solid evidence. And the legal precedent must be "beyond ANY doubt", instead of the current "beyond any reasonable doubt".

If it cannot be proved "beyond ANY doubt"that the accused committed murder, he MUST be set free.

Modern state-justice seeks to have its cake and eat it too.

The state can regulate and tax alcohol and tobacco—2 dangerous drugs. It then supposes to "victimise" the users of alcohol and tobacco by initiating "campaigns" to be a "responsible citizen".

However, if privateers start selling "alternative drugs" to give the customers in the market more CHOICES in getting high, these privateers are turned into CRIMINALS by the state's law makers.

So in my mind, Mr Lasry has missed the point—it is the state which criminalises victimless crimes. And darn it, if he wants to take on the Singapore state, he should also take on Australia—where victimless crimes are also criminalised.

Capt_Canuck said...

I agree, Hitler did fight for his beliefs in making a harmonious and compatible country. Mainly by making everyone the same, restricting publications and press (funny how the Germans actually thought they were winning WWII right up to the point that the surrender was signed because the newspapers only told of the glorious advances of the German nation), instilling fear into the hearts of those in the country by basically saying "if you are not one of us and believe in our cause, you are against us and shall be punished with extreme predjudice". Interesting, nice to see that Singapore leaders have taken cues from some of the great minds of Earth's history.

As for death penalty gives justice for the victim's. Sounds sort of strange to say "yes, to have justice for killing an individual is to kill that individual" An eye for an eye will only end up making a blind world. No matter how many times people justify the death penalty for murder, I always seem to wonder how it is wrong and illegal to hire a hit man to kill someone that has wronged you for vigilante justice, but it is alright to hire an executioner to kill a man that has killed a relative of yours. Just because the leaders say it is right, doesn't make it so.

After all, if Matilah_Singapore is right in that the death penality should only apply to beyond ANY doubt, then Took should be set free since 1 out of the 3 judges in the appeal says that there is a doubt whether he did commit murder. So, wonder how deep the singapore system of law is flawed. A wonder that will stay in mystery considering the depth of secrets and control on the media that the gov't has, huh?

Hail MiniLee!

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Matilah_Singapura said...

There is nothing wrong with retribution.

Sometimes it is necessary, and in my opinion at least, morally correct.

Ghandi's doctrine of "non violence" may have brough him his own sense of satisfaction. And good for him.

In my mind, people who murder need to be killed.