Amidst the debate over what Singaporeans really think of the imminent
hanging of Australian heroin smuggler Nguyen Tuong Van, a healthy little debate is bubbling
away between Singaporeans and their neighbours on the Channel
News Asia
online discussion forum. Here are some of the
more interesting comments we stumbled across.

On the Australian boycott of Singaporean businesses:

  • It’s the prerogative of Australians to do anything they wish
    in their own country; including boycotts. But it’s the prerogative of
    Singaporeans to reciprocate in kind… There’s nothing particularly special about Australians
    that they should be above the laws of countries that they visit. If you do
    believe that special exceptions apply to you when overseas, then you’re smoking
    some really good dope. By all means boycott Singapore.
    We wouldn’t want you to suffer the terrible experience of obeying our laws. I
    think we’ll function just fine without the pleasure of your presence. –
    Posted by dl2005
  • Yup, Australians can boycott all they want. They aren’t the biggest market for Singapore businesses anyway, there
    are bigger markets like the US, EU and China for our companies. Will
    they boycott big-spending university students from Singapore as well? Hmmmm didn’t think
    so. That’s Aussie ‘patriotism’ for you… – Posted by pokkagreentea
  • I
    am an Australian living in the south west of Victoria. Quite away from
    all this drug smuggler stuff going on in the Asian regions up north. I
    think if the Singaporean people phoned around the general public in
    Australia they’d be pleasantly
    surprised. Radio
    polls suggest that around 80% of the Australian public support the
    stand in the case of Van Twing (or whatever his name is).
    – Posted by jimb0

On the debate over capital punishment:

  • Go
    get today’s (25 Nov 2005) copy of The Age or Sydney
    Morning Herald
    or Herald Sun from the nearest newsagent. On page 4, you can
    about the response of our local Australian positive feedback on death
    on drug dealers. ALL parents given thumbs up to
    the decision. Even Nguyen’s neighbour from Chadstone in Melbourne say
    they will move out if
    he is being release. Vietnamese communities namely Footscray, Richmond,
    Preston and Cabramatta from Sydney pledge their vote against
    drug traffickers. – Posted by Lorgem
  • Singapore is a bit barbaric … we
    hang people to deter people from doing deeds that we judge very harmful to
    society. At this stage we are like the throwback of old Western law. We hang em
    up. Interestingly
    what we are doing in this matter is protecting Australian lives, 26000 doses
    …if that get distributed in Australian cities. How many will die from it?
    Where would the profits go? How many other drug crimes will it fuel? How many
    times will he do it again if this run was successful? And the cycle repeats
    itself? – Posted by SaveAustralia
  • If
    we start granting the first clemency on death row on drug related case, next
    time other countries will take this example as a case for their own clemency
    appeal, if Singapore starts to bend on this issue, next time it will be very hard
    to stand straight. Other countries will start to bully us. If this case would to
    happen in China or US, do you think the Aust dare to make such big noises? The
    law must be upheld even if it make hurt relations. – Posted by governor.