SDP welcomes decision to amend death penalty law

July 11, 2012
Singapore Democrats

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Singapore Democrats

The Singapore Democrats welcome theGovernment’s decision to stop the mandatory death penalty againstdrug couriers. The law does not serve justice and it is appliedunevenly. $CUT$

We are glad the Government has realised the errorand folly of executing drug mules while narco-kingpins produce and sell their drugs with impunity. Taking the lives of small-timedrug peddlers do nothing to stop the drug menace.

The SDP has longmaintained that the mandatory death penalty does not stand up toscrutiny. We argued that the victims of drug peddlers, like smokers,consume the drugs of their own volition.

Drug couriers do not forcedrug-takers to take drugs any more than cigarette-sellers forcesmokers to smoke – and make no mistake, the tobacco and nicotine incigarettes are addictive and cause cancer which is the number onekiller in society. If we don’t execute cigarette-sellers, why do weexecute drug mules?

In addition, the mandatory deathpenalty applies disproportionately to the poor. Druglords and criminal syndicates seek out those whoare financially desperate and in debt to smuggle drugs. Most, if not all, who have beenexecuted under this law in Singapore have all been in financial dire straits.

It is regrettable that it has needlessly taken somany lives before the PAP finally sees the lightand moves away from its obstinacy of insisting that all drug couriers– even if they were unwittingly duped into carrying drugs as in thecase of Nigerian Amara Tochi – must hang.

For a long time, the Government wasclinging on to blind ideology and resisting reason. The change in the law is a victoryfor those awaiting execution for drug peddling, a victory for thosewho worked so hard to change the law – in particular human rights lawyer Mr M Ravi, anda victory for reason and justice.