President S R Nathan’s rejection of Mr Shanmugam’s petition for clemency is a black day for Singapore. It adds another indelible mark on the blood-soaked sheet of PAP’s death penalty rule.
The Government must realise that not only is it taking the life of the prisoner, it is also destroying the lives of Mr Shanmugam’s teenage twin sons who will be left without parents (the mother left them when they were young). There is also the mother and the question of whether her health will be able to withstand the sight of her son’s dead body after his execution.
The Singapore Democrats maintain that drug peddlars must be punished and punished severely. But the trafficking of small amounts of drugs (cannabis in Mr Shanmugam’s case) cannot be mindlessly punished by death. The penalty is completely out of proportion to the severity of the crime.
The Government has yet to prove that executing small-time drug smugglers effectively deters others from doing the same. In the meantime drug barons operating outside of Singapore, some of whom our country has business dealings with, operate with impunity. This devilish hypocrisy must end.
Is the life of the average Singaporean that worthless to the PAP? Ministers weep over the loss of a badminton match and shed tears while supporting the building of a casino. But if any weeping is to be done, it is over the lost and lonely soul of this nation.
Chee Soon Juan
Singapore Democratic Party