The Lava Trolley: Mind the Gap

The Lava Trolley

Or is it the lavatory???

...Either case, this little nook on blogasphere is the natural dumping ground for the sort of crap that erupts
when you find a wee Chink in the Britworks...

But hey, I promise you this is steamingly hot shit...which is probably why it's all looking a bit brown!

 

09 December 2005

Mind the Gap

noose

"Singaporeans generally support the government's tough laws
as part of a social contract that has kept crime rates low and
delivered years of economic prosperity."

That's probably because no one actually has the guts to object.

Still, results do count, and I don't see what Singaporeans have to complain about. Their streets are safe, and the nation can boast of peace and economic stability...Benefits which not many countries (developed or otherwise) can honestly claim to enjoy. Plus, it's a hell of a lot more liberal than most Asian countries, and certainly more open to new ideas now than it used to be.
"Father Norden said Nguyen should be spared: 'We believe
this young man has committed a serious crime deserving
of punishment, but not the loss of his life.' "

Although I don't wholy disagree with the death penalty in extreme cases, my personal view is that capital punishment for drug smuggling alone is a tad harsh, particularly in this instance. Also, one has to point out that the heroin found on Nguyen wasn't intended for Singaporean consumption, but was in fact, on its way to Australia.

"Singapore uses several methods to combat
'the scourge of drug addiction', the Ministry of Law
said in a November 24 statement. 'One component
of our approach was the mandatory death penalty
for drug traffickers, who are in fact the source of drugs
that ruined the lives of addicts,' it said, adding that
the law applied to Singapore citizens and foreigners alike."
Drug dealers may be the ones who provide the addicts with their fodder, but remember...There cannot be supply without demand. The real reasons for drug-taking do not stem from smugglers...Junkies go down the trainspotting route because they choose to...Much as we can feel sorry for them (and their loved ones), we should not be pointing fingers at anyone else. Give these people enough rope and...er...Well, we all know how the story ends.

A person in self-dustruct mode, determined to dig his own grave (quite literally!), will use whatever he can lay his hands on...If it's not some form of illegal substance, it will be something else (says the voice of experience ). Hanging drug smugglers doesn't quite address the issue. It merely eradicates the symptoms, not the cause.

Having said that, I do admire Singapore's unwavering stance in the face of all this controversy, and largely applaud their decision to stand firm.

"Gilly Parminter, a 40-year-old mother, was less sympathetic.
'Personally I think if you go into a country you have to abide
by their laws, and you have to live with the consequences...
It does seem harsh, but they can't change their minds at
this late stage because it will undermine their system,' she said."
Nguyen was aware of the laws, and the consequences of his actions. It was NOT (as some like to claim) an 'honest mistake', nor was he forcibly coerced into strapping narcotics to his torso. Singapore should not have to acquiesce just because Australia has begged for clemency. Nor should any country be allowed to interfere in another's justice system just because it was one of their own who committed the transgression.

It is unfortunate that this one life could not be spared, but in the face of possible political and social chaos, it would be a greater misdemeanor for any country to start making exceptions due to foreign intervention. If the law is to change, it should be done so because it is the wish of that particular nation's citizens.

" 'Two wrongs don't make a right. Taking a human life is
not a way of solving a problem,' the chancellor of the
Sydney Archdiocese, Father John Usher, told reporters."
Two wrongs don't make a right? I'd like to know how so many of us can accept this statement at face value, seeing as there is no concrete definition of what should be deemed ethically correct. But let's not quibble about that...yet...

"Canberra said it was considering taking Singapore to the
International Court of Justice."
It has been suggested a number of times, that because human rights is a global concern, the legal structure of every state should come under worldwide scrutiny and approval. Someone I know even went so far as to propose that all rules and regulations be made universal, with territorial barriers abolished, thus allowing individuals to move to and from countries without having to contend with current immigration laws.

The argument is that this utopian ideal will promote interaction amongst all ethnic groups, give everyone a sense of unity, and an equal say in how things are run. Since society would then become homogeneous on an international level, there would be less occasion for friction to arise over a difference in lifestyle or opinion.

pic83

I wouldn't hold your breath...

The chances of this coming to pass during my lifetime is very slim...Suffice to say the human condition has a long way to go before this notion could ever become feasible, particularly in light of recent development on the terrorism front. Yes, there is the Out-of-Africa (or possibly, China) theory to consider (as in we all come from the same place anyway...more or less), and there is much to be said for fanning the fires of the proverbial melting pot...But whatever happened to preserving some form of cultural identity? To coin a much-used cliché - Too many cooks blah-dee-blah...I believe I've mentioned in a previous article that this isn't a concept which should be enforced, but allowed to occur gradually, over time.

pic82

Surely there is much more we can learn from those who DON'T live the same way we do?

Related Articles:
UN Effort to Spare Condemned Man
Australian Anger over Singapore Hanging
Australia Divided over Drug Runner's Execution
Singapore Firm on Execution Stance
Website Pokes Fun at Singapore's Hanging


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