Reply to Rosmati Jumardi II

7 March 2005

I read with interest the letter from Rosiati Jumardi

You mention in some western countries that children as young as five carry guns. I haven’t heard of crimes being commited by children that young, although America has a high rate of gun crimes, including child gun crimes. This is because people are allowed to have guns.

I didn’t say that Singapore has the death penalty for selfish reasons. Some people in Britain argue for the return of the death penalty, and point out that it costs so much to keep a convicted murderer in jail, while the victim’s family gets nothing.

You stated that nobody is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. So do do you agree that Singapore will sooner or later hang someone innocent by mistake, if it hasn’t done so already?

You say that convicts who are freed may commit their crimes again. I never said that murders should be freed. In fact I think a life sentence should be literally a life sentence.

Prison breakouts are rare in Britain. And security would be tighter in jails for the more dangerous prisoners.

I don’t think the death penalty is a deterrent as most violent crimes are not premeditated, and most criminals think they will get away with. Better policing is the only deterrent.

Being opposed to national service is not the same as being opposed to all military action. Britain has got involved in several wars since national service was abolished, most recently the US/Iraq war. But these wars only lasted a short time and they didn’t need every able bodied young man to get involved. There hasn’t been anything like the Second World War in the last sixty years.

Since the early sixties the British armed forces have consisted of people who’ve chosen that particular career.

If the country isn’t at war you don’t need every able bodied young man to serve in the armed forces. It’s just a waste of their time, and the army’s time as well.

I agree with your last point that some 17-year olds have better opinions than some older people, though usually they’re more humble about it.


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