a small lesson to be learnt

singapore custom officials shall treat australians on transit a little kinder and avoid searching them. our laws are incompatible to theirs and if they are transit passengers it is best to leave them alone unless they did something obvious. the australians are more comfortable handling their own problems. and should they be tipped off about australians carrying drugs and returning home, it is best to treat such information as unreliable. in this way we can respect the rights of australians and their laws and also help by not creating problems for the two govts. i am sure the australians will appreciate our goodwill and pave the way for better relations. at times it is better to keep one eye shut. just imagine how much trouble we would have avoided if we did not apprehend nguyen.


Anonymous said...

Hi Redbean, sorry this time I cannot agree with you. If the Singapore police had not apprehended Nguyen then the drugs would have arrived in Australia and we all know the harm drugs like heroin can do. Put in another way, lets imagine that a drug courier has 400 gm of heroin on him at Bangkok International Airport and he was about to board a plane to Changi. Let us also imagine that the Bangkok police knew about this and said to themselves, " well he is getting out of Thailand and going to Singapore, it is therefore the Singapore police's problem", then waved him goodbye and forget about it. I am sure the Singapore govt would not apprciate this kind of attitude by the Thai police.

I still think that judicial killing in barbaric, but on the other hand I feel that hard drugs like heroin should be eradicated. I believe that it is pointless going for the small fish. It is the drug lords that we must try to eliminate.

redbean said...

i think this whole incident singapore was fixed up by someone, very likely to be the aussies. i do not think our custom officers are omniscience, that they know who is carrying drug and who is not.

and they were tipped to arrest nguyen. morally we should arrest anyone if we have knowledge of it. this point i can agree. but if the australians feels so strongly about their own citizens, maybe we can have an understanding with them. for australians they handle themselves. and if needed be we will tip them off and they can wait for the trafficker in their airports. but if they were to tip us and expect us to make the arrest, we can decline and say thank you. mutually comfortable.

the australians have shown that they did not appreciate what we have done. so morally we do our part by tipping them if we know about it.

would that be ok?

Anonymous said...

All your arguments are based on the assumption that it was indeed the Aussie that gave Singapore custom officers the tip. What if it wasn't. If it was indeed a tipoff that led to Nguyen's arrest, then when the world was crying out for clemency, wouldn't the Singapore govt had announced that the arrest was the result of a tipoff? and that someone had wanted the poor guy caught? Suspicions would automatically fall on the Aussie, who had all to gain, thus silencing their cry for clemency. Furthermore, why tipoff the Singapore custom officers, they could easily had apprehended Nguyen when he lands on their soil.

redbean said...

hi anonymous,

the tip off is just a deduction. not necessarily true. we might not know the truth. but there are reasons why they rather singapore keep him here and we ended up carrying the baby.

my grumbling of letting them handle their own people is more a reaction to their vehement protest. so why not make them happy if that is what they want. we have nothing to gain to be over zealous on such things. they do the arrest or we do it not really important for transit passengers.

arresting a drug trafficker is very troublesome and costly to us. it is always good to do them a favour and let them do it the way they wanted to. we happy they happy.

Matilah_Singapura said...

I wouldn't read too much in the political hubris. John Howard looks 'blur', but he is a very smart political animal and has shown time and again he is one of the "best" popular-politicians around.

Since he has come to office he has 'manipulated' the chattering classes into supporting him to:

1 Invade countries without declaring war - East Timor previously, recently Afganistan and Iraq. (my tax dollars are being used to kill other peoples' children. Tough one that)

2 Disarmed the civilians by "buying back" their guns after the Port Arthur Massacre

3 Introduced a GST - all other PM's previously failed

4 On the verge of imposing 'martial law' on the trade unions with his new, neo-fascist Industrial Relation Reform. (hmmm... maybe not such a bad idea)

5 Is considering reintroducing the death penalty for acts of terrorism (smacks of hypocrisy)


I wouldn't have put it past his goons to have tipped-off the S'pore officials about Nguyen.

The 9 Aust drug traffikers awaiting trial and execution in Bali were caught by a tip off form the Aust Fedreal Police to the Indonesians.

The aussie media, of course, always complicit in indirectly or directly acceding to govt policies - so much for a "free" press. Luckily, the mainstream media is not the ONLY source of news in Oz.

Knowing how sneaky Howard can be (and his STRONG anti-drug leaning), I wouldn't put it past him to use SE Asian countries' no-compromise, death penalty justice systems to prevent the international drug trade form reaching Aust. shores.

In that way, Howard looks like a "humanitarian" whilst the "villainous and barbaric" Asians do his dirty work for him.

Small wonder why me and many other people continue to mistrust this evil man.

redbean said...

hi matilah,

i did not know howard that well. but he is a survival. he read the australians very well and have to be seen to be appealling for the case, 5 times. i think he has gained some points there. and he also gained points with the singapore side for being reasonable and separating state to state relations from a criminal case.

in this sense he is good. he played the american card in iraq and afganistan. he is willing also to play the china card and trying to get closer to asean. good politician he is.

as to his anti drug stand, there is a high possibility that nguyen was sacrificed. and singapore was compromised to be the hatchet man.

we look so bad. he looks so good. and the australian public so moved. and vietnamese will now be more acceptable to the aussies after this event. nguyen has brought the aussies closer to the viets.

Matilah_Singapura said...

I've lived in Aust for over 20 years, and nothing about political treachery surprises me. I've been pro-actively keeping the Oz govt out of my life for most of that time ;-)

The world has been duped into believing that a resounding majority of aussies are against the death penalty for drugs.

Not so. Almost all my Aussie friends support capital punishment for drug traffiking - but they haven't said a word. So people simply conclude that those who are the LOUDEST reflect the unanimous tenor of the society.

Not so. Democracy - of which I am alway wary of - is capable of fooling those who will not use their choice of independent and critical thinking and analysis.

Look at this latest report:


See how media spins can paint quite a different story of 'reality'. Also in similar polls the for-against ratio regarding the death penalty vaccilates between about 1/3 - for to 50% - for.

These facts on strengthen my "conspiracy theory" about Howard using SE Asia's law enforcement to achieve ends that would damage his popular, "man-of-the-people" image. But, I 'm also cautious about "conspiracy theories" as they can cloud one's judgement. Rest assured, I'll be pursuing the facts.

But if an email or memo suddenly did surface - suggesting Howard or his ilk's complicity in my "theory", be pleased that its appeared here FIRST on your blog :-)


redbean said...

hi matilah,

this blog will be very honoured to be the first to feature your discovery.

politicians and the media are people in the limelight. people who need people and publicity to survive. i would not think that this whole issue was brooded all the way to this conclusion.

one possible theory could be just a drug enforcement issue. the drug enforcers in oz was tailing nguyen and provided the lead for the singapore custom to pick him up. and the rest of the events followed. i do not think anyone could expect the media and politicians to drum up the support to such a feverish pitch and internationalised the event. the press love to fight an issue overseas. and singapore is a very sexy candidate. small and vulnerable. the politicians jumped into the bandwagon to make themselves known and heard. even the legal counsels capitalised on the issue for their own ego and reputation. and the crowd gets merrier.

the other possibility is that nguyen was the fall guy to let a bigger consignment through. the singapore custom, to a very high proability, did not know who nguyen was. he was a newbie. a clean slate.

then of course the possibility of your version. let the outsiders handle this nasty domestic problem. if the battle cry does not stop and garbage continues to fly, sometimes the truth may just be thrown out for all to see as well.

it will come out in a matter of time.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Mules are 'small time' desperate people.

Nguyen was simply being the self-sacrificial, over-protective brother, and sadly made a decision to get some 'easy money' to bail out his twin. Very sad story - this guy was not a career criminal, but he did perpetrate. a serious criminal act.

Call it bad judgement. Call it brotherly love. Whatever it is, the end is the same - a waste of a life, due to making the worng decision.

I'll be back in Oz soon. If in the new year this thing doesn't go away, I'm taking action by myself. Occasionally, I like a good fight with the Feds :-) I think what the crazy-masses in Aust are doing will seriously damage aust relations with her 'allies'.

Aust is an embarrasment at times - it seeks to play Big White Moralist, not just in Asia, but in the world. Anything I can do to stop this, I will - but I won't jump the gun. I'll see if it is still an issue in a coupla months

Notice how quiet the Aust Federal Police are? They haven't even made the slightest sound right through this whole tragic affair.

The AFP train many of the law enforcement personnel in Asia, and both ASIO and the AFP have a 'zero tolerance' policy on drug trafficking.

Also notice that every aussie mule which has been caught in Asia, have been caught trying to smuggle drugs into Australia. Why don't the AFP wait until the mules arrive in Oz? Becasue the justice system will probably give them a LIGHT sentence, and they will be parolled in a few years.

Better use the Asian law enforcement agencies that the Aussies have trained to clean up the mess.

Makes perfect sense to me.

redbean said...

hi matilah,

when the images of the other brother appeared in the media, he looked a very cool, composed, decent good looking boy next door. who would have figured out the things he was involved.

the story of trying to earn money to save the brother is a touching story, but just a story. take it at face value.

the truth can be more thrilling than fiction.