Remember Nguyen Tuong Van
SINGAPORE'S Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong touches down in Australia tonight, his first visit since the island state's controversial execution of a young Australian drug trafficker.
Officially, Mr Lee's trip will be dominated by talks on trade and security.
But ongoing concern over Singapore's mandatory death penalty is certain to be a feature of his more public engagements.
Melbourne drug mule Van Tuong Nguyen was executed on December 2 last year after Australia's exhaustive pleas for clemency fell on deaf ears.
Lawyer Lex Lasry, QC, who represented Nguyen, says he wants to send a message to Mr Lee that Singapore should change its policy of mandatory death for a number of crimes.
Prime Minister John Howard will hope continuing public anger over Nguyen's death does not cloud the visit, intended to strengthen ties between the two countries.
Official talks will focus on trade, investment, security and regional issues.
Mr Lee will meet Mr Howard tomorrow, along with other senior members of government.
During those talks, he is likely to address Singapore's desire that Australia review its open skies policy as part of an overall examination of free trade between the countries.
Earlier this year, the government rejected a proposal to allow Singapore Airlines to join Qantas and American-based United Airlines on the lucrative trans-Pacific route between Australia and the United States.