11/28/2005

australian union threatens sanction

the australian trade union is threatening trade sanctions against singapore. they are ready and waiting for the general mood of the public. and the australian govt is undersieged and trying its best to justify itself that it had done its utmost. this is australian democracy at work. the govt at the mercy of the people. what we have is a very vocal group of australians pressuring its govt which in turn put on the pressure on the singapore govt. who is actually behind the movement? it seems that some very powerful forces are pulling all the strings they could to embarrass the singapore govt. definitely not the parents of the vietnamese young man. vietnamese is still kind of an outsider, troublemakers for australians. unlikely that a nation can be moved by a vietnamese woman's plea. matilah, are you on the front seat watching the show? the climax is approaching.

2 comments:

Matilah_Singapura said...

Hi redbean,

I wouldn't pay too much attention to any special interest group in Oz - the Oz trade unions are no exception.

I've made my position quite clear on where I stand viz a viz capital punishment: Capital punishment is only just for murder in the first degree - backed up by irrefutable evidence. I think all mandatory sentencing is illegal, and the people who author such documents ought to be charged in court and punished for corrupting the judicial process. :-)

Personally it is sad that this young man will die on Friday - he is no criminal. He has no criminal or civil record prior to this. But sovereign law, is sovereign law - and S'pore's laws on drug trafficking are well-known. It is pure folly to attempt to break them.

Because of mandatory sentencing, the judge cannot exercise justice - i.e. the punishment must fit the crime, and all circumstances leading up to the accused's behaviour must be considered. That is what I call law in the full context. This guy is not a criminal mastermind, and he is a lousy liar. Fact: he cooperated fully with the authorities. If there wasn't mandatory punishment, he would have probably got a non-lethal sentence.

I'm indifferent to the whole affair actually. Once a person is caught for drugs in S'pore, that's it! No point worring about what's gonna happen next.

However, in the field of jurisprudence (the philosophy of law), the law must be relevant to the times and to the situation - whilst remaining fully objective. And IMO, there'll be sloooowww change to mandatory sentencing.

Part of the difficulty here is that in S'pore there is no seperation of powers.

redbean said...

hi matilah,

being able to stand back and look at the issue is a great advantage. many are caught in it with a lot of emotional entanglement.

i share your view that capital punishment is going to be less acceptable as society changes its value. and the singapore govt's position on this is surely going to be affected by the mounting pressure from all corners.

taking a man's life is bad. fully agreed. but in the context of this law, the intention is very clear. short of another better alternative, the law is erected high and bright for everyone to see. look we will hang you if you bring drugs into our country. please go far far away.

as a deterrent it must be very harsh and painful to be frightening and to do its job. and to be effective it has to be carried out when the time comes.

nobody or govt, especially the singapore govt, would want the stigma and reputation of hanging people.

but the death penalty has served its purpose. it is not a trap setup to lure people to death. it is openly declared, it is a no. like i said earlier, singapore should even put up a big banner to beg these drug traffickers and abusers not to come. even with all the publicity and the intention to hang them, and if they still choose to come, the law will just have to be carried out.

are we better off with the hanging of a few drug traffickers? are our society and children a little wee bit safer? i think so.

the offender could be small time or drug lord is not an issue. the message must go out loud and clear. please spare us the agony of hanging you. and if the guy still intends to do it, so be it.

it is a conscious choice decision to deter. that is all there is to it. no innocent man will be hanged. only those who chose to be hanged will be hanged.

i don't agree with hanging but i agree with a harsh law to hang those who can cause a lot of harm to many people, a slow death and destruction of families and societies. there is no comparison between a criminal who kills immediately and one who kills indirectly. which is more harmful is a matter of values.