Governments being Contradictory

November 22, 2005 12:01 AM

It is very well-known that the Australian Government is contradictory on its stance on the death penalty. With regards to Nguyen Van Tuong’s impending hanging in Singapore, the Australian government cannot convincingly argue on moral grounds when it also supports the death penalty for the Bali bombers.

The severity of their crimes notwithstanding, if you oppose the death penalty then you have to oppose it outright. You cannot pick and choose which criminals deserve to die and still claim the moral high ground.

Whether or not you believe in the death penalty, Nguyen knew the risks and the choice was his own to make. The Singaporean Government cannot let Nguyen off because it sends the wrong message to other foreigners thinking about trafficking drugs in or through Singapore.

That said, Singapore has dealings with a known Burmese drug lord while publicly condemning drug traffickers to death. Contradiction? You be the judge.

A prominent Singaporean opposition figure, Dr. Chee Soon Juan recently voiced his thoughts on this in the Sydney Morning Herald. He was also interviewed on Hack @ Triple J last Friday – the podcast is available for download here till the 25th of Nov, 2005. After which, you can listen to it here.

For balance, the connection between the Singaporean Government and the Burmese drug trade has also been reported in Asia Times.

And while the mules sit on death rows throughout SE Asia, the Mr. Bigs of the drug world continue to peddle misery and death.

7 thoughts on “Governments being Contradictory

  1. mooiness

    woah good conspiracy theory! 🙂 Nah, looking at it from a purely business point of view, the profit from dealing drugs is nothing compared to the amount needed to be spent on health care, productivity loss, crime etc.

    So no – a government will not knowingly go into the drug trade. 😉

  2. ~*Starryluvly*~

    Good one mooi. I feel exactly the same way, yet I think some people misconstrue my entry to mean that I fully support capital punishment :s

    Ooh, and I didn’t know about the Burmese drug lord. Was that from the Sydney Morning Herald? Will have to do some reading up about that one.

  3. mooiness

    starry: yup didn’t know about the connections till I heard it on Triple J. Then I decided to do some digging. 🙂

    Contradictions aside, I firmly believe that Singapore cannot let Nguyen off without opening a whole can of worms wrt. the death penalty and especially how it applies to foreigners arrested in Singapore. Have to be consistent as you’ve said.

  4. C_F_L_L_N

    wow! it was a revelation to read abt GIC and its investment with this Burmese guy. however, it seems that GIC haD dealings with him and subsequently “quieitly liquidated its investment” after they realised their mistake?

    it’s easy for Chee to shoot off his mouth without understanding the full pic and he certainly has no access to such info/docs.

    call me a PAP lackey, but hey, I’d rather have Chiam See Tong in the Parliament than this dubious chee!

    opposition criticise abt the walkover during the recent Presidential elections, but hey, I’d rather have an eighty ear old fogey who’s some ex-ambassador who’s eloquent than some “senior store supervisor”?!? or some dubious ex-CFO who job hopped and caught up in some legal wranglings.

    just my two cents worth… 🙂

    btw, nice blog/writing.i always enjoyed reading your posts… thanks!

  5. mooiness

    cflln: it is very hard to balance the free flow of information and political stability – that I agree. Politics aside, I do understand how Dr. Chee is perceived in Singapore. Which was why I also posted up that link to an alternative article, one that’s also not Australian-sourced. 😉

    thanks for the compliment! 🙂

  6. Kynne

    Hmm… I’m always frowning when foreign countries think they can bend the Singapore rules, asked to do this, do that, from Michael Fay to Nguyen. But, that’s news and new to me on the Burmese, will have to ask my dad on this one.


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