Friday, November 25, 2005

A Rogue Chinese Port and her barbaric laws....

An article in BBC’s news website today talks about Australia’s reaction to a recent decision by Singapore High Court to hang an Australian national for drug trafficking after pleas for clemency were ignored. Nguyen Tuong Van is due to be executed on 2 December after being convicted of trafficking 400 grams (14.11 ounces) of heroin in 2002. This comes hot in the heels of another high profile drug trafficking case involving another Australian, Schapelle Corby, on the Indonesian island of Bali earlier this year.

Quite a number of Australian MPs and political figures have expressed their dismay at this turn of events as well as outrage that Nguyen will have to face such a “barbaric” form of punishment. Mr Gough Whitlam, a former Australian Prime Minister in the 70s, has even gone so far as to label Singapore a "rogue Chinese port" for ignoring appeals to save the drug smuggler from the death penalty.

Personally I am outraged at such disrespect shown by the Australian political figures for their Asian neighbours and their laws. I am not saying that the punishment is justified, but anyone entering Singapore is warned in no uncertain terms that drug trafficking is punishable by death. So if someone willingly disregards the warning, commits the crime and then has the misfortune of getting caught, he should then have to face the music without his countrymen creating a hue and cry about how unfairly he is being treated.

Having said that, my heart goes out to his family members who not only will be losing a loved one but also have to suffer the indignity of being thrust into the media circus surrounding this trial. I only wish that this latest episode will serve as a deterrent to all aspiring drug traffickers to think twice about commiting this heinous crime or at least stay away from South East Asia. Heaven knows we have enough on our plate to deal with as it is.

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