Of drugs and the death penalty

There has been quite a lot of outcry over the execution of Nguyen, the smuggler of 400g of heroin into Singapore and was sentenced to death. He was hanged yesterday, even after the Aussies made a lot of noises trying their darndest to get our government to spare the noose on him.

At first, I was nonchalant about all the hoo-has over these. To me, its just a simple clear cut case of him facing the consequences of his actions.

And then with all the hoo-hars that the Aussies created, calling us barbaric and what-nots, I just can’t help but need to vent a little frustration here. To make it worse, some smart-ass made a comment in Decay‘s blog and made me rather mad.

What I had much difficulty understanding was why on earth was this single guy made out to be some kind of war hero? He must have been the first drug smuggler in history to have people observing a minute of silence and having bells to toll for him after his execution! Hes a drug smuggler for goodness sake! Drugs, something that destroy and kill! No matter that he gave the very lame excuse of wanting to help his twin brother pay his debts. To me, he should belong to the lowest rung of the society. He knew drugs destroy, having had a family member who is a drug addict and yet he was willling to distribute the very same substance to others, thus nudging them down the very same path that his brother had headed. And yet, people seem to think that he deserved a pat behing the back for “helping” his brother? I say, if he really wanted to help his brother, he would have sent his brother to a facility to clean him up.

Up till here, I must clarify that I am not for the death penalty. On the contrary, I am against it. Its cruel. I don belive killing will solve any problems, other than perhaps freeing up space in lockups. And there is always the fundamental issue of we, mere flesh, trying to play God. Who are we to have the right to take away the life of another human, no matter what sins they commited? I believe we don have that kind of authority, its too sacred to be trusted in us mere humans.

However, having said that, the law is the law and it must be obeyed. The whole purpose of making laws is to ensure that everything is in order, in their proper positions and in place. There should not be any compromises because if there is, then the very fundamental reason of creating the law will be undermined and the floodgate would be open. Granting clemency to Nguyen would only lead to two things. One, he will live, thus sending a message to potential smugglers that as long as they are foreigners, they might have a chance to escaping the gallows. Two, Singapore’s sovereignty would be no more. We had bowed to foreign pressure.

Many argue that the death penalty is too harsh, too harsh for a crime like drug smuggling. A lot argued that death penalty is barbaric and inhumane. Its not right to kill someone cos he made a mistake. What about giving them chance? Then I shall say, don test our patience and our laws. Don do it if you don want to get the death penalty. That will prevent any human rights controversies from arising. No actions, no consequences and so no death! Simple as that. If however, you know the consequences yet went ahead to commit the act, then you just will have to face the consequences when caught. Our laws are not put there for show, they will be enacted. Like what Mr Howard said “Don’t imagine for a moment that you can risk carrying drugs anywhere in Asia without suffering the most severe consequences.”

At the end of the day, the whole hoo-ha about Nguyen’s case is not about death penalty per se but rather a case of him facing the consequences of his actions. True, death penalty is barbaric but its our law, and we have every right to carry it out if you break the law in our land. When in Rome, do what the Romans do. Like what I told Crankyboy, the person who commented in Decay’s blog, we will welcome foreigners to our land with open arms but take us for granted and come here and play punk and test our laws. We will not hesistate to implement them when they are being violated, regardless of whether you are a foreigner or not.

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~ by blurfroggie on December 3, 2005.

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