Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Death Penalty : Why we need to rethink....

Many years ago, I went to JB with a friend to do some shopping there. After shopping at Holiday Plaza, we went to the carpark where my friend parked his car. Holiday Plaza was our last stop and we were going back to Singapore from there. When my friend got to his car, he took out a stick with a mirror at one end and a flash light from the boot. He then spent about 10 minutes checking the undercarriage of the car. Baffled, I jokingly asked him if he was looking for rats or cockroaches. He told me in a morose tone that he heard rumours of drug trafficking syndicates sticking packets of drugs onto the undercarriage of Singapore cars and picking them up when the cars parked at the HDB parking lots in Singapore. They could figure out where he stayed and worked by looking at the carpark labels on his windscreen. My friend was worried that if he was caught at the customs with drugs, both of us would be sentenced to death. I spent the rest of journey back to Singapore thinking how it was possible for laws to be crafted such that people who were sarbotaged, deceived or unkowningly exploited can be hanged . You think that such a harsh cruel punishment would require overwhelming proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt but it is not so in Singapore....

"...whether or not contained in any substance, extract, preparation or mixture, shall be presumed to have had that drug in possession for the purpose of trafficking unless it is proved that his possession of that drug was not for that purpose

.....Any person who is proved or presumed to have had a controlled drug in his possession shall, until the contrary is proved, be presumed to have known the nature of that drug.

..... The presumptions provided for in this section shall not be rebutted by proof that the accused never had physical possession of the controlled drug. "

-Misuse of Drugs Act[Link]

My friend's fear of being hanged if drugs are found on his car is not unfounded. There is no need for the prosecutors to provide proof that he is a drug trafficker. He is guilty of trafficking unless he can prove otherwise. He is presumed to have knowledge of the drugs unless it is proven otherwise. Think about does one go about proving that he has "no knowledge" of something? This set of laws violate what ordinary folks think of as a basic principle of justice - "innocent until proven guilty". Under the Misuse of Drugs Act, you're guilty until proven innocent.....not only that, once you're found guilty death penalty is mandatory if the drugs involved exceeded certain thresholds. For such a harsh irreversible punishment, shouldn't a person's guilt be proven "beyond reasonable doubt"? Shouldn't a judge have the discretion to decide on the death penalty?

In the case of Vignes Murthi, the main evidence given was from an investigating officer who was under investigation for rape, sodomy and bribery. The laws make it easy to prosecute suspects on little evidence. Malaysian human rights acitivists asked if Singapore authorities have been "callous" and indifferent to human life.....

In the past, there was little awareness among Singaporeans of how the death penalty was used. There was little reporting on the papers on the specifics of various cases and Singaporeans were largely ignorant of what went on. Thanks to activists, the Internet and Alan Shadrake, many Singaporeans are forced to rethink what they once accepted. Over the years, our authoritarian govt tweaked the laws trading away justice for expediency without anyone to oppose them. I remember clearly when the bill to lower the threshold of drugs for mandatory death penalty was put up, the main justification given was that authorities found it difficult to presecute suspects and send them to the gallows because they were caught with drugs smaller than the existing thresholds. Today, we have Yong Vui Kong, a poor and lowly educated young man, sentenced to death for 47grams of heroin - a crime he committed when he was just 19 years old. In communist China, it would have taken 50 grams of heroin for the death penalty to be imposed. While other countries have abolished or seek to abolish the death penalty to create a more humane society, the govt went in the other direction to expand its use and we ended up with one of the highest, if not the highest, execution rates per capita in the world.

Some argue that the harsh laws are necessary to protect our society. Is that true? Every year thousands of our best talents emigrate to countries where death penalty has been abolished or used only in heinous crimes such as murder. Many emigrate to these places because they believe these are good places to raise their children. The death penalty shouldn't be used to compensate for the lack of expediency of law enforcement agencies. Singapore is a developed country and we have the means to do away with unnecessary executions if we better our ability to fight crime.


DanielXX said...

luckytan, you would be doing better to press on a few key issues rather than poking at everything that comes up. capital punishment is ok by most people; the key grouses are not here. Pls do not dilute your message by drifting with those human rights people who would rather that the rights of the rest of society to live well to suffer for the sake of so-called rights of the errant minority. In Singapore, we believe in utilitarianism. Tell me, do you?

Anonymous said...

i'm not sure if the majority of singaporeans are ok with mandatory death penalty for "trafficking" 15g of CD under the "presumed guilty until proven innocent" stance.

death penalty for murderers, drug lords and dictators, yes.

the bottomline line is MDA is too harsh. but then again, you can never find the word "compassion" in pappies' dictionary.

Perspective said...

hi Lucky,
This reminds me of a driving lesson I had more than 10 years ago. My instructor was an ex-SPEARS (prison special operations) man and he was very happy to talk for an hour about all the cool stuff he did on the SPEARS team and how he handled violent prisoners. But when I asked him about escorting inmates on death row to the noose, he suddenly fell very silent and sighed. Just a second ago, we were having a very animated and chatty time but when I asked him the last question, he really really fell silent and sighed. My question was, "Did you ever have to escort a prisoner to the execution room knowing that he was innocent?"

Thanks for flagging this up!

e-financialhub said...

Lucky, good post. Even China is moving away from capital punishment for some of the commercial crimes.

Anonymous said...

To DanielXX:

You believe in utilitariansim, not everyone else. So please don't drag the whole Singapore into your belief. I for one is a Singaporean and yet I am agreeing with Lucky that the capital punishment here is given out way too easy and lightly no matter what is the outcome.

Maybe most singaporeans are ignorant of how the capital punishment are being carried out too lightly or that they are too tie up with other issue in life than to give a damn about the death of some convicts, presumed innocent or not; but I seriously doubt most are actually okay with this system if given thorough thoughts.

Anyway Gambling actually has the same social ill effect as drugs would do to a society. In fact I have see more people in RL whom life and family was destroyed by gambling than that of the drugs. So whatever the reason is to protect the society, money talk in the end. Perhaps that is the kind of utilitrarianism we believe in. said...

Re DanielIXX

I hope your the car your mother driving will be planted with 1kg of Heroin when she drive from the other side causeway.

I hope your mother will be caught by CNB, and charge with death penalty by AG.

Tell me at that point of time, will you still hold on your stance.

Tell me.

DanielXX said...

arguments here become too emotional and hypothetical, one even dragging my mother in. The essence of your counter-arguments basically are to do with the ADMINISTRATION of the death sentence and the judicial process around it, not whether it SHOULD be legislated in the first place. The administrative process of course must be tight to give the benefit of the doubt, but the punitive and deterrent nature of death sentence must be in place. Otherwise many people will be willing to become drug mules, whether young or old, whether the victim of circumstances or of greed.

if you don't believe in utilitarianism, then you should leave SG. if you don't know what it is, check up a dictionary. said...

Re DanielXX
I really do not understand what are you trying to talk. Your whole nonsense shows you do not have an iota of legal knowledge.

I am going to make my position clear.

First, the problem of our capital punishment lies significantly on the legislation. I am also going to give you a kindergarten lesson on jurisprudence.

Read the link below.

The burden of proof should be on AG and not to presuming the accused is guilty.

If we are going to take someone's life, we need to stick to highest standard of proof which is beyond reasonable doubt.

Anonymous said...

Capital punishment is still needed, however, the doubts and suspicions that drug lords were never caught and convicted need to be looked into. Commonsense does tell that something somewhere are not right and amissed in the drug cases in Sin.

People in high society are found to be proned to indulged in estasies of drugs and sex, spouse swappings, group orgies etc. Yet in this pressure cooker affluent society of Sin, despite many market talks of such activities, Singaporeans hardly heard of convictions of people in high positions.

And if they did, the sentences and convictions are almost always found wanting.

Some things were not right just by intuitions and instincts if me may say so. Doubt should and must not exist in any capital punishment.


Amused reader said...

I am surprised that you think that the "arguments here (have) become too emotional and hypothetical, one even dragging my mother in."

The reason why I am surprised by what you wrote is that in your previous comment about casinos, you wrote this:

"in my view, many of the outspoken anti-casino pundits around are probably christian fundamentalists who latch on to every single episode of casino-related bad press to promote negativity.
i think hypocrisy is the worst of all sins. fark off."

For someone who ASSUMES (without evidence) that nobody else but "christian fundamentalists" care about the negative impact of casinos; and for someone who is agitated (i.e. emotional) enough to write "fark off", you must have very well-defined ideas of what constitutes "emotional and hypothetical".

Are you a hypocrite yourself? Or do you want to look up the meaning in the dictionary for yourself?

Anonymous said...

Young adults are hanged in Singapore for drugs while their top bosses, the drug lords, enjoy 1st class medical treatment at our hospitals to preserve their lives. And we have some Singaporeans rationalising this is for the safety of our children. Funny world we live in.

Anonymous said...

Gambling can be even more destructive than drugs and most chinese seem to have it in their genes to gamble everything away (remember Ho Ching?) You would think there should be legislation to BAN gambling altogether.

The PAP govt gets a cut of the casino (or 4D/Toto/Horseracing) profits, but not from selling drugs, so the latter of these 2 sins is illegal in every way...although they already make a bundle laundering money for the druglords!

Anonymous said...

It used to be THREE judges sitting on the bench in all court cases that involves the death penalty.

Yong Pung Sai reduced it to ONE sole judge.

In other countries, they have the jury system with 12 people having to agree before a person is found guilty. Here, in Singapore, one SOLO judge who happens to have a bad breakfast - as Yong Pung Sai did - can SINGLE-HANDEDLY pass a death sentence!

Anonymous said...

stop your bullshit about "errant minority". You can't read? Lucky Tan was writing about INNOCENT Singaporeans who are WRONGLY sent to the gallow due to the "Presumption Clause" in our drug trafficking law.

Which part of his post do you not understand?

Anonymous said...

Apparently its OK for PAP to make money dealing with the druglords but the mules carrying products of the same druglord are hung and executed. What hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

>if you don't believe in utilitarianism, then you should leave SG.

No. It is YOU, DanielXX, who must leave SG. And we will chase you - PAP doggy - and your PAP masters out one day.

(And I make no apology for calling you a pap doggy, for only a pap doggy dare to think he owns Singapore, and therefore has the right to tell the rest of us Singaporeans - who are mere visiting tourist, in his warped doggy mind - to get out of our own country if we are not happy with PAP. No, we are not going to leave the country, even though we are not happy with PAP. We will kick out PAP - and you, the dog - instead!)

Anonymous said...

Thsnks, Lucky for the enlighthening article. I have not thought about that before.

The real issue is in the process and not the end results.

Basically, what I can understand from the article is that whether there is adequate effort in proving that the person is guilty when it comes to drugs possession.

I am all for the harsh laws and penalties for drug trafficking. However, the legal process must be in place to prove without a reasonable doubt that the person is guilty.

I think in Singapore, the executive, judicial and legislative processes are relatively contradictory and double standards that a person who sits down and think critically, he will definitely find many things that do not make sense.

I think we have regressed since the days of the 40s to 60s. We have intellectuals and active activists fighting for just causes and ideals for the greater good.

I think the article is in line with what Lucky is writing all the while i.e. the system we are in lacks the checks and balances. I read somewhere before that the powers of legal council had been greatly undermined due to the saga in the 80s where Francis Seow was the AG, and the later, the spat that ensued all but ended the influence of the Law Society in the judicial process.

Don't you guys think that whatever happens and discussed here still goes back to 'absolute powers corrupts'?

Anonymous said...

I do not see how it is related to utilitariansim, because only the innocents and small time drug offenders got hanged. What good does it bring to the society? The big fish are all out there happily spending money and buying lavish houses in our safe country. Singapore laws are unfair and maybe now China has more freedom than Singapore. What law is this: guilty till proven innocent? Is this a barbarian state? I don't really care if the politicians get tons of pay, I really don't mind. They can live in big houses drive a tank through an empty ERP infested road, I don't care. Give us back the Singapore that we deserved, give us the fair, meritocratic country with proper safety nets to really aid the poor, handicapped and the unfortunate. We can give up driving but please increase the frequency of buses and trains. And also lower the cost of transport, housing and thus the cost of living. We will tolerate the media's propanganda and you can lavish praises on the kings for all you want but please reduce the health cost as most Singaporean cannot afford to be ill. Yes, we know we have insurance like medishield and medisave, but... isn't that our money? We love our country and the guys spend 2 years in the army sacrificing their very productive years to protect the country and yet when we need help we were told, "There is no free lunch in this world" and ask us to eat grass? We need help and help is not far away, maybe in 6 months time :p

Anonymous said... do you conclude that capital punishment is ok with most people. Although I do not agree with capital punishment but sending one to the gallow is a very very serious matter. Judgement in my opinion should be made by a panel of judges (at least 3) or a 12 man jury..........not by just one man.

Anonymous said...

I shudder to think that there is a chance I might be hang for transporting drugs which somebody in Malaysia hid them underneath the chassis of my car. How can I prove that I am innocent? The death penalty should be abolish because there are flaws in legislation. Having the power to take a life, the authorities must ensure without a doubt that they are killing someone who is guilty. Any person send to the gallows should be given due process and all avenues taken to prove his innocence, because justice meted out have to be with compassion.

In the case of one young Malaysian, Vignes Murthi, I have some serious doubts that justice was done. As such, I am all for the abolishment of the mandatory death penalty. Therefore I did sign the petition for clemency for Yong Vui Kong. Being only eighteen years of age when he was caught, I think our laws are very harsh. What if he had been my son?

I hope those who agree will sign the petition too.

Anonymous said...

This is not just about the death penalty, but Singapore's atttude towards justice and law.

Efficiency is more important than justice. The rich man will always get the lenient punishment, while the man in the street will face the full weight of the law.

The judge will hide behind the court and make personal attacks on the convicted, and if u argue back, you are deemed in contempt of court.

If you appeal against your sentence, the judge gets pissed and can double or triple jail sentences.

Certain politicians and civil servants love to sue others for defamation. Without even having to look or study the facts of the case, most of us are able to determine the verdict of the cases with 100% accuracy.

With so many flaws in our attitudes towards dispensing justice, I wouldn't be surprised if a number of the people we hanged are not guilty after all.

Is this really how justice operates?

BTW, I am supportive of death sentences. Certain types of criminals are a menace to society and they are better off dead than alive.

Durian Freak said...

nice troll, DanielXX. you trolled me too. congrats!

Guess you think the law is perfect. i dunno about the other commentators here though.

Anonymous said...

"Certain politicians and civil servants love to sue others for defamation. Without even having to look or study the facts of the case, most of us are able to determine the verdict of the cases with 100% accuracy.

that's quite true. some people do have a gift for that and season or mutual working adults too know what's generally fair or right and wrong." - anon 14:25

which leads to another commentator saying....

"Judgement in my opinion should be made by a panel of judges (at least 3) or a 12 man jury..........not by just one man."- anon 12:32

Anonymous said...

Yup, Lucky. That is why my parents and I used to be very stringent when checking the car. And that is why I'm also somewhat careful about leaving my belongings around, when in Malaysia or even when leaving Malaysia.

For all you know, someone could slip the drugs into your bag and get someone else to "pickpocket" you after you've exited from the customs complex. And in the worst case scenario, what if one of their own people is part of the customs staff? That would be like begging the devil for mercy.

Lucky, for many of those who emigrated though, I doubt they moved overseas because they objected to the standard of human rights in Singapore. I don't doubt quite a few had such concerns but many emigrate to escape high costs and dismal salaries, poor treatment by the Singapore govt, atrocious medical care, annoying families or even the pressure cooker lifestyles for everyone. It's bread and butter issues for many, unfortunately.

Rather, I suppose that many get exposed to differing opinions and ideas while in other countries and hence, start to develop certain opinions and stands on various matters.

But you know, a person doesn't have to leave a country to know more about the world. You just have to find those of completely differing opinions to discuss different topics with and try to stay calm throughout the discussions.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why everyone is getting so worked up over what DanielXX said.

Is PAP's death sentence being passed out too freely? Perhaps. Is Capital Punishment still necessary? It's my opinion that it should carry on, though more regulations should be enforced on how it's being passed out.

Singapore is not a big nation. Do we want to feed drug traffickers in our jail with tax dollars? Do we want to reduce our workforce when more and more becomes addicted to drugs?

The short term answer is easy, cancel capital punishment, etc etc. But what about the long term ramifications?

DanielXX said...

Basically my approach is that concentrating on a few critical issues rather than hitting on everything would give more credibility to the few issues being emphasised. Otherwise the risk is that the chaos of too many trivialities will dilute the entire baseline.

Anonymous said...

Couldnt find any link that say vignes IO is under investigation for rape and bribery. any link to to show?

Anonymous said...

Hi Rojakgirl, in your scenario, you still stand a chance to escape death sentence.

My biggest fear is, they slip a small amount of drugs (enough to get you hanged) in your bag and inform the police (police always act upon tip-off).

While you are being spot checked by the custom officers, they will be waved through by the custom officers, behind you with a big load of drugs.

Nobody will be able to defend you from then on.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the article. I totally agree that it is absolutely possible for an innocent person to be hanged the way the law is written. And I have no doubts that some innocent people have indeed been hanged after reading Alan Shakdrake's book because the govt has not up till now not said anything to rebut what he wrote in his book. Very likely that if govt opens its mouth more of the concealed truth would leak out!

When the justice system was reduced from 12 laymen jury members to 3 high court judges to only ONE judge, one must conclude that the means has become the end to the govt, that killing every one with the remotest possibility of guilt is more important than taking real actions to stop the threat at its source. Of course, it is widely known and believed that the govt shares the same bed with the Burmese drug lords, in fact laundering the latter's dirty drug money.

This makes me wonder how the leaders have the gall and temerity to tell us Singaporeans what to and how to behave. But as they say, Al Capone the notorious American gangster also believed that he was a benefactor to mankind.

Parka said...

So are there any real life examples of drug lords hiding drugs under cars of innocent people?

It's a story I've heard for years but I've never actually seen any real names, or cases.


I thought this line "unless it is proved that his possession of that drug was not for that purpose" in the Misuse of Drugs Act is important enough to highlight as well. You still have your rights to fight your case.


Anyway, the last paragraph needs editing. People don't emigrate to other countries just because there are no death penalty there.

Anonymous said...

Daniel is right, you bunch of half wits are too stupid to understand what he is saying LOL

Anonymous said...

The only consistent aspect of the present ruling government is what I would term as passing 'blanket laws'.

Just to cite a few examples...

E.g the property tax that they considered some time ago to tax people who buy a second private property after a certain period of time or something like that, the policies on welfare, increasing the minimum sum on CPF etc

As long as it has something to do with the government coffers or threaten the political powers of the ruling government, they will take the easy way out.

Just like the welfare policies on rental flats and supplements, instead of more thorough investigations or a more flexible approach such as on a case by case basis, they would rather apply the rules and hard wares, rather than heart ware. The reasons are that they are too time consuming and a waste of resources. Most importantly, according to conspiracy theorists, such issues do not add to the government coffers or alleviate the government expenses in the future.

Lucky, allow me to rant on another issue here. The news on the use of CPF funds on children education. To me, the MSM tried to paint the picture of the parents losing out and argue the pragmatic aspects of the danger of the children not repaying the parents.

Are we trying to build a society of callousness, distrust and pragmatism to the extent that there is no family warmth, love and spirit?

Is it such an issue that the government needs to bring it up? There is a Chinese saying that even the tigers will not eat its babies and vice versa.

Anyway, I would like to add that the main issue here is not about the penalties, it is about how things are done in order to evaluate the next course of action. Are there any safety nets or recourse or has everything been exhausted in order to ensure minimal mistakes are done?

I do not think this is trivial. It concerns a human life, unless the pragmatism in Singaporean will justify that for the greater good, it is all right to sacrifice a few human lives.

Hey, it is all right because it is not every day that someone gets hang for drug possession or the situations highlighted by Lucky are too far fetched to be believed.

But I would like highlight again is that it is not keeping things neat and tidy, it is about doing things right or at least more right than wrong. said...

Re Annon
Singapore is not a big nation. Do we want to feed drug traffickers in our jail with tax dollars?

Ho Ching of Temasek and Tony Tan of GIC are the one wasting tax payers' money.

Re Parka
So are there any real life examples of drug lords hiding drugs under cars of innocent people?

All those people who were caught and hang for driving with drugs into Singapore are potentially victims of being planted by drug lord-- if AG prosecute them base on presumption of guilt. said...

There is no evidence to suggest that capital punish actually deter crime effectively if its cost is taken into consideration -- in developed countries especially.

There is also no reason to not believe that there are methods other than death penalty that works better in lowering crime rate.

The above are especially true in developed countries.

United States have capital punishment but it has one of the highest homicide rate.

Germany, Iceland...etc has no capital punishment yet they have one of the lowest homicide rate.

Alan Wong said...

The planting of drugs under the carriageway of Singapore-registered cars to bypass the Singapore Customs is such a scary example that can really happen in real life.

" ... how does one go about proving that he has "no knowledge" of such drugs ?"

I just wonder who is the smart arsehole who can come up with this type of legislation that is not foolproof.

Maybe we should put forward this question to the authorities concerned and see whether they can brief us on what sort of proof they want to see for themselves before they are convinced ?

For example like installing a CCTV to cover 4 corners of the cars to catch any suspects trying to plant the drugs would be the minimum proof they are asking ?

Anonymous said...

it's harder to be kind than to be smart.

- scooby doo.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking about the fact that some developed countries that have less crime rates and no capital punishment could be due to the fact that the country is more well run.

Germany has a coalition government and I think probably Iceland is relatively more democratic. Also comes into mind about the income gap. I think US income gap is relatively wide.

I feel the political, social and economic issues are inter-dependent. Still, the signs (learning from other countries) are that Singapore may have catastrophic consequences if some events trigger them. On hindsight, no consequences are too dire to face. Just look at Myammar, North Korea, Ethopia etc...

DanielXX said...

In my opinion Singapore is a black swan. That's why I believe we need to cultivate alternative voices.

A black swan is an event at the tail end of the risk spectrum that is very rare but once it happens, boomz! Gone.

Anonymous said...

About capital punishment versus feeding them in prisons...

I think that is rather myopic with regard to situations. Thailand prisons are bursting at the seams according to news report some time ago. However, there are alternative and creative solutions such as home detention, making the prisoners earn for their keep or some other solutions to the issue of wasting taxpayers' money on them.

The other consideration is more of absolute numbers i.e. if the people on death rows are added to the current prison population, would it cause a exponential increase in population? If that is true, then Singapore would probably has one of the highest crime rates in the world.

However the most pressing issue of high crime rates within the country would be 'why'?

In Singapore, many issues and problems, according to my personal opinion, are solved by sweeping policies and do not the nip the problem in the bud. Solutions are thought out to create scenarios whereby the statistics will not show it. Just to cite some examples...the poverty issue, the government proudly proclaimed there is no poverty in Singapore and also the loanshark issue where some MPs can propose going after the people who borrowed money instead of the loansharks. To me, it is just plain dumb, but they are definitely measures that will show up brilliantly in the statistics. said...

Re DanielXX

In my opinion Singapore is a black swan.

You are really crackpot bootlicker of PAP.

Crime rate has a lot of do with social injustice and inequality. Poor countries like Bhutan has low crime rate precisely because they social equality.

Highly developed countries like USA has high crime rate that is correspond to high GINI.

In my opinion, our harsh law is there just to suppress the peasants so that our robber elites can plunder perpetually.

We can solve our crime rate by equitable taxation system that ensures everyone has fair share of wealth instead of capital punishment.

Just look at Switzerland. Swiss is allowed to possess firearms yet there are few homicide, as compared to USA.

The reason is the USA elite is more rapacious and that creates an underclass which feeds endless violence.

chan said...

Death penalty is not wrong if the crime is deserving. but i too feel that if a person is truly framed. it will be quite scary for them. so it is impt to check your stuff before returning to Sg.
But if you are drug mule or traffickers, you truly deserve the death penalty.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucky

Thank you for an excellent article.

What good is it for Singapore to gain the whole world and lose her soul by killing others?

Anonymous said...

Actually I don't mind not having swiss std of living but at least the right to possess fire arms like the Swiss [ if it's true ]
and of course only Spore citizens who have completed NS are issued with such permits.

However I can forsee Sporeans will see very little of their Ministars and MPs...LOL
Their mode of transport will be armoured carriers or tanks...LOL

Come to think of it, the problem of dictatorship, kangaroo justice, political scumbags will be sorted out very impromptu death penalty.

Anonymous said...

I am more worried about our judiciary being an extention of PAP than of the death sentence.

And the behaviour of the judiciary mirrors that of PAP; efficiency and passing of the buck to the citizens.
Be it dealing with floods, minibonds, retirement and even presumption of guilt, the onus has been passed to the man-in-the-streets, that he has to beware, has to fix his own flooding problems, prove that he is innocent.

Seriously, we need to vote out PAP to reform our judiciary. We need an independent judiciary that plays by rule-of-law, rather than making up the rules as it goes along.
I get worried when I read of the judiciary presumption of guilt, of judges who arbitarily up sentences of those who appeal by leaps and bounds (is this a way to discourage people from appealing??).

Anonymous said...

If it is so easy to plant incriminating evidence against someone, opposition whiners and opportunists will be in great trouble by now.

Each nation must know its demography and the people's profile well before formulating national policies.. Eg Private arms possession don't work for Asian countries.
Asian, some, eat their pets.
Please don't offer them arms ok.
Someone may just shoot car owners who don't give way. said...

Re Annon 27/8/10 23:23

Private arms possession don't work for Asian countries.

Firearm in Switzerland

Are you trying to infer we are a lesser mortal than swiss? But in my opinion, our society is certainly more screwed up than swiss for being masturbated by PAP for so many years.

Why the swiss does not shoots anyone given that everyone has the right to own firearms while? The reason is because swiss is an equitable society and that takes out a lot of stress.

Countries that allowed firearms did it for the reason that firearms owner deters tyrannic dictators, protects private property, freedom and deters foreign aggressor. The price to pay is of course a little increase in domestic violence on rare occasion.

An example- If Singaporean is allowed firearms, PAP would have difficulties in nationalizing our land. Guys from SLA will simply get shot.

I am not advocating firearms. I like to show that a country would not have much domestic violence even when there is huge amount of private arms. The real culprit of domestic violence social inequality.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lucky Tan,
Excellent article. This is the first time I read the Act. It is really scary. The "power of presumption" is so strong that we don't even need a judge to preside in such cases.

Keep up the good work. How come Straits Times report cannot write like you?

From. "Presumption Power"

Anonymous said...

According to wiki, the Swiss blade inflicted more deaths than firearms.

I think the point here is that if you want to harm someone, you need to be quiet in your execution most of the time.

So the choice of weapons is obvious.

Do we have that many kitchen knife killings here?

No. So by your reasoning, we are more an equitable society than them?

Anonymous said...

problem with death penalty for carrying drugs - encourage druglords to use minors in future.

Anonymous said...

Relax everybody, why so work up?
We ban casino then, we legalise it now.
Now we ban drug trafficking, then one fine day we might legalise it too.
Any bets?
吃喝嫖赌, by then we all and we can proudly proclaim ourselves a nation complete with nothing lacking.

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