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18 April 2005
First, I must express that its regretted that Clive have altogether missed the point and crux of my response and arguement in my previous mails.
As such, I would just like to summarize in 9 main points on my previous exchange with Clive and perhaps readers of this website could just draw their conclusions based on logic and reason. That’s the main purpose of having a discussion and the grand notion and purpose of having free speech anyway.
I do not intend to go into great depth on the credibility on Michael Moore’s films as there’s more than sufficient information available on the internet for interested readers to draw their conclusions. My point of bringing his films was to highlight to Clive that its extremely subjective especially if he tried to use biased ‘works of entertainment’ to substantiate any of his arguements.
As indicated earlier in my response to Clive, I’ve explicitly expressed to him that while NO legal system in the world, including that of Singapore, is 100% foolprove, we have adequate legal checks and honest judges to ensure that no one is put to death by the lack of proof.
As to Clive’s belief that it would be a totally senseless act to even execute a GUILTY felon convicted in a court of law, all I would just like to highlight is that its basically his belief. I don’t think its a senseless act to execute a convicted person whenever I think of the plight of victims such as women who got raped, abused, innocent children or even infants who were tortured or abused or even murdered, old folks who got mugged and punched because of theft etc. To these unfortunate folks, its even more senseless to be hurt, abused or murdered. They didn’t asked for it. Apart from that, those who are on death row knew very well and clear on their penalites if their clandestine activities should failed. They made an ‘informed’ choice and they gotta be responsible for their own actions. It’s not a case where for instance someone got caught for stealing and the court at its own pleasure meted the dealth penalty when the law or statues did not state that at all!
While I do not stop people or even myself from feeling sorry for those on death row, like what Clive said, they are human after all, I think we should all give some thought and sympathies to those who suffered or are going to suffer for their crimes or illegal activities.
Clive stated it in his last mail as a FACT that more than half of the world have abolished the death penalty. I’m not really convinced that that’s a fact. If Clive had obtained the above statistics from the Amnesty International website, I would suggest that he study the figures indicated meticulously because the numbers and his abovementioned statement simply do not tally.
Apart from that, Clive mentioned that he spoke to an independent candidate who was pro death penalty and proudly indicated that he responded that 9 out of those 10 folks who believe in the capital punishment were wrong. Well, I’m not too sure what’s his statements meant? Its either Clive is a person who’s extremely ‘confident’ in his belief that even if 90% of folks do not agree with him or is he simply too out of touch with the others in his ‘philosophical dreamland’.
At this point, I would just like to perhaps clarify a certain point with Clive. I’m NOT ‘PRO DEATH PENALTY’, sounds as though I’m someone who enjoy sending someone to the gallows or seeing some humans get fried on the electric chair. I think the right term used should be ‘PRO JUSTICE and the RULE OF LAW’. Isn’t that whats the rule of law seeks to accomplish and attain? That EVERYONE should NOT BE ABOVE THE LAW! So if someone breaks the law and that statue states the accordiing punishment, then it shall be carried out without fear or prejudice. That’s why I thought the term ‘pro death penalty’ does not truly reflect those who support capital punishment. At this point, I do not wish to dwell into how some thought become statue or law as the process is explained quite readily in any legal websites.
Next, I think Clive completely misunderstood and miss the point on the issue of Britain joining hands in the liberating Iraq. Well you know what, Clive, I NEVER assumed that you supported the war because you had explicitly distanced yourself from the effort to free the innocent Iraqi people from their dictator. Neither do I wish to know who you voted for because that doesn’t matter to me at all! What I want to highlight to readers is that someone (Clive) who fought vehemently against the death penalty would OPPOSE the effort to free the Iraqi people from their ‘death penalty’ meted solely by Saddam Hussein (NOT EVEN A COURT OF LAW)!
Finally, I’m appalled at Clive’s last statement that the people of Singapore deserve a lot better than the People’s Action Party (PAP). While I believe that no one is perfect in this world, even if he or she is a member of the PAP, I do believe in the integrity and honesty of my leaders who had tried hard, though sometimes imperfect, to run this island state and made all Singaporeans proud of our land and country. While you may argued that it’s not the PAP but normal Singaporean folks that made Singapore the way it is now, I seriously and honestly think that while EVERY Singaporean has a role to play (and should be proud of it) in the Singapore success story. I think every team, organization, state and country would not be able to achieve its potential if they lack a great leader or team of leaders. Well, the record speaks for itself Clive. Singapore from an unknown 3rd world fishing village to a safe, grand, beautiful and sophiscated country with almost 97% of its population educated and living under their own shelters is something I think every Singaporean including me is extremely PROUD of.
Well, although we may not be ‘perfect’, no countries in the world do anyway, but I thought your sweeping statement that we, people of Singapore, deserve a lot better than what our leaders have done and is still doing, sounds extremely hollow and unconvincing.
Lastly, though I may not agree with everything what our leaders may have done or intend to do, I still trust in the integrity, spirit, capabilities as well as honesty of my leaders cos I always believe that faith in GOD, the well-being and stability as well as the integrity of my country SHOULD always takes precedence over my own individual freedoms.
REPUBLICAN OF SINGAPORE