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MONDAY 7TH NOVEMBER 2005, 7-11 pm
Scotts Road
(Beside Newton MRT)

This event is convened by an independent, non-partisan, non affiliated group of Singaporeans with concerns about Death Penalty practices in Singapore & elsewhere.

The world's press is focused upon Singapore right now, let them carry the message that Singaporeans are at least a little concerned about what is going on.








Speakers include:
* Madam Letchumi Murugesu, Mother of Shanmugam Murugesu
* Alex Au, Social Commentator, Yawning Bread
* Anthony Yeo, Clinical Director, Counseling & Care Centre
* M. Ravi, Human Rights Lawyer
* Dr Chee Soon Juan
as one aussie parliamentarian said, if spared the death sentence it would make australian couriers the most prized in the international drug trafficking industry.
article below is also from an australian.
and if there are arguements, hopefully you do not start them here, come down on monday and there will be a Q&A session.

The country that needs the death sentence to feel secure
By Hugo Kelly

It's not often I turn to Neil Mitchell for inspiration. But it's not often that the Melbourne shock jock gets off his comfy high horse, quits delivering suburban sermons, and speaks simply and eloquently from the heart.

He did this yesterday in his weekly Herald Sun column, and it's a piece everyone should read, especially those who think there's any deterrent value in the death penalty:,5478,17044385%5E5000106,00.html Do not hang this man."

Mitchell has done his research on the case of 25-year-old Tuong Van Nguyen, awaiting the noose in a Singapore jail cell. "Read his trial transcript," he writes. "This was a confused, stupid young man. With drugs strapped to his body he sprinted to catch his flight to Australia, guaranteeing the attention of security staff at Changi airport."

"So why kill him? Why this public vitriol for an inept drug-runner from Glen Waverley?" A good question.

Over at The Australian, their visiting Singaporean columnist, Asad Latif, thinks he has the answer: "The main issue is that of sovereignty. The laws of Singapore prevail in the land called Singapore," he declares. His piece today,,5744,17056258%5E7583,00.html
"Don't ask Singapore to make an exception" carries a sad message: Singapore is not yet mature enough to take an honest look at its 19th Century approach to crime and punishment.

"Australians have the right, if they so wish, to argue that their laws are better than those of Singapore," writes Asad. Think about that: "Šour laws are better than those of Singapore." What is this: a schoolyard squabble over who's got the biggest marble collection?

Does anyone benefit when a man is killed for trafficking less than half a kilo of drugs, whether he's Australian, Singaporean; young, old; black, brindle or brown? Does anyone think that Singapore's security - its very sovereignty - would be eroded if this wretched young man is spared the hangman's noose?

It's the sign of an insecure state that feels the need to threaten its citizens (and foreign visitors) with death.
just to add.

The australians are not the only one complaining about this death sentence penalty. Amnesty International has been campaigning against the Death sentence in Singapore for ages.
i don't want to be political.. but really.. singapore's gahmen is not on track anymore. i was just as disgusted and disappointed by their failure to symphatise with nguyen's case of trafficking.
sfz said:
i don't want to be political.. but really.. singapore's gahmen is not on track anymore. i was just as disgusted and disappointed by their failure to symphatise with nguyen's case of trafficking.

i strongly agree with our govt's stand. why blame on our govt, y not the drug dealers? the govt is just taking measures to make sure our country is safe from all this smuggling activities. in chinese they say "kill one, warn all". What message would this come across to all other drug lords should he be spared?

oops off topic
singapore has always been vocal about its punishments as a deterrent. if someone then goes ahead with doing something stupid, knowing that it's extremely risky and the consequences are severe for getting caught, that isn't the country's fault, it is the individual's.

keep the death sentence and let those foolish enough to ignore it suffer the consequences.
Australian PM warns Singapore on Van
Dennis Shanahan, Patrick Walters
21 November 2005

"The Singaporean processes don't even allow his mum to give him a farewell cuddle ... I mean, what sort of Government are we dealing with here?"

JOHN Howard has warned the Singaporean Government that the execution of convicted drug-trafficker Nguyen Tuong Van would "not go unnoticed in Australia" and that there was a deep conviction that the death penalty should not be imposed in this "desperately sad case".

Labor yesterday accused Singapore of treating Australia with contempt and called for a formal diplomatic protest.

"We have had representations from the Pope, the Prime Minister, the Governor-General, the Opposition, a resolution of the Australian parliament and from a huge cross-section of the Australian people," said Labor's foreign affairs spokesman, Kevin Rudd.

"The Singaporean government response to that has been to tell us all to go jump in the lake."

But the Prime Minister has ruled out diplomatic or trade sanctions against Singapore ahead of the planned hanging on December 2.

Van, 25, was found guilty of drug-trafficking last year, after he was caught with 396g of heroin strapped to his body and in his hand luggage at Singapore's Changi airport in 2002.

Government-to-government ties between the two countries are extraordinarily close and go well beyond the annual $15 billion-worth of bilateral trade deals. The relationship embraces sensitive defence and intelligence links and growing corporate investment.

Last week, Mr Howard repeated his preference for Singapore Airlines and Qantas to form a closer partnership.

Canberra will soon consider whether to allow the Singaporean carrier to fly the Pacific route.

"The Singaporean Government should not imagine that this incident, this issue is going unnoticed in Australia," Mr Howard said in South Korea after the APEC meeting.

"There is great feeling and there's great conviction in our country that on this occasion the death penalty should not be imposed," Mr Howard told ABC radio.

Mr Howard was embarrassed in South Korea when it was disclosed the Singaporean Government had notified Van's family in writing of the date of the execution while he was still appealing personally to the Prime Minister of Singapore for clemency.

Mr Rudd predicted that Van's hanging could have an adverse impact on Australia's bilateral relationship with Singapore.

"The Singaporean processes don't even allow his mum to give him a farewell cuddle ... I mean, what sort of Government are we dealing with here?"

But Mr Howard said the dispute over the death penalty had not damaged bilateral relations and rejected calls for boycotts of Singapore.

"It's not going to contaminate our bilateral relationship with Singapore," he said.

"We believe there remains a very strong case for clemency given his previously clean record, his co-operation, the fact that he was doing it ... out of concern for the position of his brother.

"It is a desperately sad case and we remain regretful that the execution is going to go ahead.

"There is strong public feeling on this issue within our country," Mr Howard said.

In a last-ditch effort to stop Van's execution, his lawyers, Lex Lasry QC and Julian McMahon, want the case to go before a meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government in Malta next week.

"It's a meeting of heads of government so we're hoping the issue will be raised in that meeting," Mr Lasry said.

"I assume it could be raised by anyone present and by the Commonwealth itself," he told The Australian.

Mr McMahon said they hoped the heads of government would "focus their attention on the issue on the mandatory nature of the penalty and to commend to Singapore that it leave behind its mandatory executions and executions generally and look to its future and adopt a more appropriate criminal jurisprudence for a First World country".

"We would hope member states would recommend that to Singapore," he said.

Mr Howard, who will again meet the Singaporean leadership in Malta later this week at CHOGM, said he had done everything he could to put his case "very strongly" in an appropriate way.

"I am certainly opposed to saying, well, of course the Singaporean Government is going ahead with this execution, we're going to take such and such a position on a trade issue," he said.

"You don't trade these things off one against the other.

"That is not sensible and it's not going to serve any good purpose."

Mr Howard also said he believed the Singaporean Government had taken into account when rejecting Australia's appeals for a clemency that the Australian public's view was not unanimous, despite the strong feelings of many.

The Prime Minister also said on the weekend that he had not been notified about the Nguyen family's plans to appeal to the International Court of Justice.

Additional reporting: Lisa Macnamara
People against the death sentence always seem to place emphasis on things like how he won't get a hug from his mom which from the report seems to be a hear say thing...the fact of the matter is that he trafficked drugs...pure and simple...and our law puts in effect the death penalty.... which is there in actual fact to serve as a deterent, to give people second thought that "hey if i get caught I could maybe its not worth it" Anyone who ignores this knows the risk he was getting into...

I am not saying the death penalty is right, taking someones life is a serious affair but unless someone comes up with a viable soultion that will deter drug trafficking and not use Singapore as conduit to traffic those drugs...till then I believe Singapore is right in this case, in terms of upholding its laws...especially pertaining to drug traffickers...drugs may be helping out your brother but you are spreading a disease that may begin the end of someone else's life...who's accountable then???
Sure he may have or may not have known the risks, but if everything was so simple then i think the world would be a crappy place to live in, with everyone following rules blindly.
well yeah we shouldn't follow rules blindly, but the drug trafficking rule is the reason why singapore doesn't have any serious drug problems. i'm not sure if you've seen how drugs can waste away peoples' lives; i've seen some of my good friends from university screw up their lives because they were all doped up. i think the anti-drug laws in singapore are sensible and simple enough for people with minimal brain matter to follow.

traffick and die if you get caught. don't traffick, don't die.

if Nguyen really needed to traffick perhaps he should've taken a different route, one not involving singapore. or maybe he should've robbed an old lady. but any trafficking in or through singapore is plainly foolish.
honestly the viet should have known better than to take his stash through s'pore customs..he could have flown directly to his destination..or he could bring his stuff to holland where almost anything is legal. :lol:
Singapore's hand in Golden Triangle
Michael McKenna
23 November 2005

WHILE Singapore has an unwavering policy of hanging drug mules such as Australia's Nguyen Tuong Van without mercy, it has for years been one of the strongest backers of Burma, the world's second-biggest producer of heroin.

Despite the pariah status of the military junta-controlled country as a flagrant breacher of human rights and the engine-room of the notorious opium golden triangle, Singapore has long been one of its key trading partners.

In the 10 months to October, Singapore - Burma's second-biggest source of imports - shipped more than $650 million of goods to the country. By comparison, Australia's exports to Burma last year were valued at $27 million or 0.01 per cent of total exports.

And for more than a decade, the Singapore government has shrugged off evidence that some of its business backing has gone directly to Burma's drug kingpins, specifically infamous heroin trafficker Lo Hsing Han.

A substantial portion of Burma's heroin finds its way directly to Australia. The Australian Institute of Criminology cites the country as the chief source of Australia's supply of the drug.

In 1997, former US Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Robert Gelbard, , said: "Since 1988 ... over half (of the $US1 billion investments from) Singapore have been tied to the family of narco-trafficker Lo Hsing Han."

Lo, 70, reportedly started out as an opium-trafficking insurgent against the Burmese government in the 1950s. He spent time on death row in Rangoon, Burma's capital, in the 1970s, for treason before he bought his liberty and expanded his business into what was described as the most heavily armed and biggest heroin operation in Southeast Asia. It is believed he now rules as "godfather" over a clan of traffickers in Burma.

In 1992, Lo founded one of Burma's largest conglomerates, the Asia World Company, which allegedly acts as an upmarket front and money-launderer for the drug operation.

Lo's American-educated son, Steven Law, who is married to a Singaporean woman, Cecilia Ng, is managing director of Asia World and runs three "overseas branches" of the conglomerate in Singapore. But while Law may live the high life during his regular trips to Singapore, he has been repeatedly declined a US visa due to his suspected links to the drug trade.

A spokesman for the Australian Immigration Department last night said it could not comment because of "privacy reasons" on whether Lo or Law had applied for an Australian visa. Australia has an embassy in Rangoon, where two Australian Federal Police officers are stationed to gather intelligence on drug trafficking activities.

Burma has received support in the past from the father of Singapore, former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, who defended the military as the "only instrument of government" in the country. Arguing that detained democracy campaigner and Nobel peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi should stay "behind the fence and be a symbol", Mr Lee said she might not be able to rule Burma without the power the military commanded.

Ms Suu Kyi could not be contacted last night. But the secretary of her party, the National League for Democracy, said the Singapore Government's decision to hang small-time drug peddlers such as Van was extreme. "Singapore is a democracy. We here are living under a strict, harsh government, but we don't hang people in Burma," U Lwin said.

The links between Singapore and the drug lords of Burma began to surface in the mid-1990s. In 1996, it emerged that the Singapore Government Investment Corporation had co-invested with Lo in the Traders and Shangri-La hotels in Rangoon through its 21.5 per cent stake in the $US39 million ($52 million) Myanmar Fund.

Many Singapore companies are involved in the Asia World group, and $900 million-plus a year pours into Burma in private investment from Singapore.

The contradiction of the Singapore Government executing those caught with more than 27g of heroin while doing business with the drug masters is not lost on some in the island state of 4 million people.
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