The occasional lounge lizard of Polyester Books intimated in Crikey
yesterday that Singapore’s high commish may have been “on steroids” when he
wrote this apoplectic apologia: “Why
Nguyen must die”
in The Age on Wednesday. It’s more likely
that he was smoking something, since at first gasp the answers appear rather
dopey and may even constitute being a “pusher,” albeit of “partisan political
interests.”

Fiction No. 1: “There is no international
agreement to abolish the death penalty”
That wasn’t the question, THIS is
the question: “Singapore has breached international law” and when that damn
nuisance bleeding-heart phrase “human rights” is inserted in the middle, it’s
fairly damn clear that this tiger of the tiger-economies demonstrates a
recalcitrance that would be the envy of a Malaysian Dr Mahatir. See UN’s
Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Fiction No. 2: The death
penalty has … deterred drug trafficking
See America, the largest
consumer of these ‘drugs’ on the planet and a country with the largest prison
population and the highest incarceration rate, and, er as mentioned: “it is
practised in 38 states” for proof that it acts as a
deterrent.

Fiction No. 3: Mr Nguyen is “not” an unsuspecting
victim
See
ol’ Chinese concept: “saving face” and life and limb. Who knows what
pressure was applied to his twin and family? It’s alleged in some
quarters that the “loan sharks” are Triads, is that true? Did the trial
endeavour to find out? Is it likely that a kid in his early 20s who has
never left the country would have contacts in Cambodia to buy “best
quality, cheapest price”? Killing the mules keeps the donkeys at large.

Fiction No 4: The punishment does […] fit crime.
Er,
“Singapore simply cannot afford to allow itself to become a transit hub for
illicit drugs in the region.” Is this a joke? The busiest port in the
region, second only to er, Rotterdam in the world. And the barons next door have
their own deep-water port in Rangoon. If you were a customs officer at
one of the destination ports along the narco marine highway, which container
would you be most likely to inspect? The one marked “Singapore” or the
one marked “Rangoon”?

Fiction No. 5: Mr Nguyen can [not] testify
against Mr Bigs.
See this piece, one slightly bigger fish has already
been nabbed. Had the AFP been contacted and a controlled delivery put in place,
there was a good chance that the even bigger fish who organised, funded and
probably forced him into this dopey dash would also have been nabbed. The
removal of which fish would most contribute “to protect[ing] the many lives
that would otherwise be blighted and destroyed by the drug syndicates.”

Fiction No. 6: Singapore [does not] connive[s] with drug
lords.
See Monty Python’s
“Nudge nudge!”
: “Know what I mean? Say no more! A nod’s as good as a wink to
a blind bat, say no more, say no more!” and see “killing the messenger” and see
Dr Chee Soon Juan’s (Singapore opposition leader) blog and see,
“pusher” of “partisan political interests.”

Fiction No.
7:
Singapore has [not] treated Australia with contempt.
See “Julia Bohl released
from prison in Singapore”
and see a final word from that serial
pest, who unlike a previous opposition leader has not yet been sued into silence
and bankrupted, forced to sell books at a market stall in order to survive, Dr Chee Soon Juan
re ” Singapore’s laws must be
allowed to “run their course” and that “no other country has a right to
interfere.”

“If that is the case then why was the charge for Ms Julia
Bohl reduced after the German ambassador and government had mounted a diplomatic
campaign on her behalf, meeting several senior Singaporean ministers in the
process. Within months several of the charges were dropped and the amount of
drugs she was accused of carrying was reduced from 687g to 281g. She escaped the
gallows and served about three years for her crime. Is this not outside
interference in Singapore’s justice system?

Unlike Van Nguyen who was
busted in transit at Changi Airport with drugs from Cambodia bound for
Australia, German citizen Julia Bohl and her buddies were “[a]ccused of
belonging to a ring that supplied drugs to bars and nightclubs in Singapore,
[she] was initially charged with trafficking 687 grams ( 24.23 ounces) of
marijuana, an amount for which the death sentence is mandatory” and, er “25
grams ( 0.88 ounces ) of methamphetamine” and, er, she also “face[d] one charge
of consumption of the tranquilliser ketamine and ten charges of possession of a
number of drugs, including speed and ketamine”

See, why it’s ever so
slightly hypocritical and might even be a bit duplicitous and could even,
heaven forbid, be seen as downright “unjust” and “cruel and
inhumane”?