a community of singaporeans

Do adult S’poreans support the mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking?

Posted by theonlinecitizen on January 29, 2010

The government has always insisted that S’poreans support the death penalty. TOC takes to Raffles Place in this latest installment of TOC TV to see if adult Singaporeans support the mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking.



29 Responses to “Do adult S’poreans support the mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking?”

  1. Iososay said

    When my children were in their teens we stayed a few nights n a hotel near the Main railway station in Frankfurt am Main. We saw young people lying on the pavement tying rubber strips round their arms to inject drugs. We saw broken bodies of young zombies sick with drugs. My children asked me a few questions about law and health, and I answered them honestly.
    They, like me, now support death penalty for the traffickers.

    • aygee said

      With all due respect, that is so judgemental and “holier-than-thou”.

      How many recent hangings were really drug trafickers? that nigerian boy who just wanted to play football in singapore? that young chinese boy who didnt know any better by mixing in the wrong company? dont you think an 18-yr-old should be given another chance to live?

    • Anonymous said

      You support the death penalty due to the fact that your kids and yourself brought up the lack of law to prevent such scenes on the streets.

      You need to perform community service for once. You and your kids. Go on…help those kids. Not be some armchair law evangelist.

      If you are not a politician, you can support one, and also appreciate the citizens on the ground like a grassroots representative. Not shoot off random thoughts into space.

      Respectfully – Nick KM

  2. Simpleton said

    To Iososay :

    I cannot say you are wrong.
    But i would say your thinking omitted the consideration for complexities in life.

    Your thinking is simple: If i see something bad by face value, i condone it.

    Its sad to see people addicted to drugs. But its another thing to say because of these, ANYone found possession of drugs of certain small amount be sentenced to death if found guilty.

    I suspect you may not see my point.

    Let me make it simpler for you.
    I agree with you on how bad drugs are to all humans.
    I condone use of drugs too.

    It is totally different to say that i support mandatory death sentence.

    Some ,as mentioned by readers, were sabotaged with possession of drugs without their knowledge. Not everyone is of high IQ. Not everyone is mentally ok. Not everyone is able to afford a living like you. In this world , things are more complex than you may know. People may be duressed into doing it. How? Dun ask. It makes you look worse.

    People may be fooled to smuggle what they don’t know. People may be forced. People may be trying to get money to save lives.

    It can be arguable if these should be let off the death sentence.

    The fact remains, when found guilty, a mandatory sentence does not give room for lieniency as the name implies. But do correct me if i am wrong.

    This is the point.

  3. Joe said

    Simpleton’s argument is flawed.

    He is bringing up a special case of people wrongly accused of drug possession due to ignorance as a argument against death penalty.

    But we are not talking about these special cases. Even so, there is due process of the law for the accused to appeal to in such special cases. We are talking about genuine drug possession / trafficking.

    I see this not as an issue of human rights but about how society should be governed. I mentioned before all of us will agree that drug trafficking / abuse leads to other societal problems. While draconian, the government need to act and unfortuate, though it may be, it is by far the most effective tool to nip this evil in the bud.

  4. channi said

    i don’t thing this should be a discussion about whether drugs are right or wrong / good or bad.

    we should first think about whether the state has the right to take a life.

    if we even hesitate for a bit to think of the state as the “collective conscience” of our society, then the state should not be allowed to take a life, regardless of people’s moral orientations (since of course, the state does not represent it).

    now IF we can agree that the state does indeed represent the “collective conscience” of society, then we should think about whether judges should be compelled to hang anyone convicted of carrying x-amounts of weed/junk/ice/etc.

    not that many people care enough to think through different conceptions of justice in society…

  5. Thong Ho Pin said

    Hi Joe,

    Would you take a life?
    The question is why take the life?
    Is 20 years not sufficient deterrent?

    Why do you insist to take another human’s life when life sentence is sufficient deterrence?


    • Tristan said

      I suspect the Singapore government doesn’t want to spent additional tax payers money to feed more criminals on life sentence.. Their mentality probably is just hang them, full stop.

    • Parka said

      In the previous interview, there are people who don’t even know that trafficking drugs is a death penalty. I’m really surprised. So it’s not really a deterrence for those not already in the know.

  6. CW Teo said

    Actually it boils downs to individual trafficking cases. For example, if it is a case of financial desperation or other possible sincere cases, 15 grams of heroin is liable for death sentence. The cops will report the case as 14.99 grams of pure heroin excluding the impurities before the court to waive off the death sentence & subject the offender to imprisonment instead.

    • Shaw Shank said

      Well, is that what you claim or have you any proof?

      • CW Teo said

        Provided that the amount is close to 15 grams. Perhaps in cases like 16 grams, where the figures can be manipulated. This was shared to me by a retired cop who served in the force for 30 years.

    • agongkia said

      CW Teo
      Out of curiousity,if what the retired cop said is true,maybe you can also find out from him whether a case of possession or consumption can also be turn into a case of trafficking.

      • Anonymous said

        Yah, I heard of stories of cops who fix people up. Not only for drug related offences but other offences also. Not sure what’s the reasons behind it.

  7. Mah Broke Sane said

    You all fail to answer the question of why is 20 years life sentence not a sufficient deterrence and choose to bias towards and support the mandatory death sentence of taking a person’s life without chance to rehabilitate.

    Taking a life is never right.

    Unfortunately, I wonder does Legality always = Morality if at all?

  8. Draco said

    The Real Question is does people understand what does the Act of EXECUTing a human mean? Does anyone really understand what it really means?

  9. State of Apathy said

    Apathy is proven by the video by the 2 adults there in Raffles Place. The man and lady’s reply say it all.

    The Lady when asked why she support the mandatory sentence looked shocked or caught off guard by the question. It is clear she does not know on the spot Why she really support mandatory sentence. She appears to support it base on superficial level of understanding the sentence. She gave a response she does not know why she said that. Maybe Herd mentality. Never used to think. She did say something like , she never think she will be sentenced with that so she never really thought about it. While nothing criminally wrong with this, she did prove that she is Apathetic about such issues.

    That guy said, ‘i don’t really care’.

    These 2 appear intellectual and look like professionals. The fact is , they are not concerned about policies and the society at large and always think about themselves only.
    This is nothing criminal but it proves Apathy and many still do not know their responsibility as a citizen and responsibility for society at large in a democracy. They keep thinking about themselves ONLY.

    Its sad that many are like this. They won’t bother to ask pertinent questions that affect society.

    Life sentence is a strong deterrent already. Why kill someone?

  10. Hum said

    To the 2 interviewed at around the 2minute mark in the video, i like to hear you say that again IF someone you know is sentenced to be executed for trafficking some grams of drugs.

    Say it again.

    I am sure you will say the same thing .

    This is what people mean by Do You Really Understand the meaning of Taking away a life of a Human being?

  11. Where is the Love? Already Gone said

    This video shows many in singapore do not care about policies and other human beings.

  12. Kia Soo Lan said

    That white collar worker at 4:15 minute mark exemplifies Fear in residents to speak up.

    He confessed he is uncomfortable answering the question which he regard as something ‘private’.

    What a shame. A fully grown adult is like this.

    No wonder.!

  13. psychic harmonix said

    Now, i finally understand about singaporean mentality.
    Good work Miss Fang and co!

    Now, what’s needed is have correspondents or volunteers ask the same about this sentence in 1st world countries. Get their comments.

    Compare. Enlightenment.

    No one supports drugs.
    But its different to support taking a life.
    Deterrent sentence of Life Sentence is sufficient in my view.

    Now, go forth and multiply the videos!

  14. oh no said

    Lol@ the fact that quite a number of adult Singaporeans are wary of expressing their views in public due to fear of possible ‘big brother’ repercussions.

    More on topic, I think Singaporeans are mostly apathetic when it comes to the death penalty for drug trafficking because it is something that affects only a very small, statistically insignificant minority of the population (i.e drug traffickers and their family/friends). Perhaps when it comes to topics affecting a larger group like HDB policies and prices, there will be more opinions on it. Then again, there is the question whether or not Singaporeans will dare to express their views on video.

  15. Drug trafficking harms many innocent lives and we would need to send a strong signal to drug traffickers.

    However some may argue some drug traffickers may face the death penalty when they do not kill someone but an errant driver may just get away with few months of imprisoning for killing a pedestrain by accident or drink driving.

  16. Brock said

    I find the videos support my conviction that Singaporeans are a sad bunch of apathetic ignoramuses. One can tell that most of them have not thought about the issue at all. When pressed for a reason for their answer, you get hesitative gut-feel type replies that are without a shred of congency. I’m Singaporean and I find this situation rather alarming. Are we too ignorant to be responsible citizens?

  17. Brock said

    I find the videos support my conviction that Singaporeans are a sad bunch of apathetic ignoramuses. One can tell that most of them have not thought about the issue at all. When pressed for a reason for their answer, you get hesitative gut-feel type replies that are without a shred of cogency. I’m Singaporean and I find this situation rather alarming. Are we too ignorant to be responsible citizens?

  18. Parka said

    Maybe it will be good to interview some CNB officers to see their take on this issue, since they catch these people all the time.

  19. aygee said

    I can understand the harsh death penalty sentence being applied in the 60-70s, when we’re a young nation, and we need to keep out drugs away from our youths. And at a time when the hippie movement, which advocated drug experimentation, was at its strongest.

    I may be wrong here, but I have NEVER EVER heard that the death sentence on drug trafficking taking down any drug syndicates/ or drug kingpins, or even stopping them.

    What i always hear are of the hanging of naive drug mules, and individuals who are small-time dealers (needing to support their own drug habits).

    I think individuals who are found guilty of premeditated knowledge that they are trafickking drugs i.e. they sell drugs for profit, then they deserve jailtime.

    If they are caught, a harsh sentence can rehabilitate them.

    For drug mules, i dont think they deserve death. sometimes situations make do things they wont do in normal circumstances.

    Capital punishment should be reserved for the harshest crimes – premeditated murder.

  20. sonatxdr said

    I strongly support the mandatory death for drug traffickers but merely having 20g or more bought from drug peddlers for own comsumption is too harsh. The drug peddlers deserve the death penalty, so are those who is a member of the drug smuggling syndicate. Sadly some of those who were caught at the various checkpoints were force or made use by drugs syndicates. But it is not easy for our law and enforcement agency against drug smuggling to differentiate because everyone caught will give the excuse they did not know the content inside his/her luggage or they were force to bring in because they owe the money to loan shark or whatever reason they may have. For those hook on drugs, i say give them a longer sentence fro recuperation. Two years or three years is not enough. I had a cousin went in and out of prison three times and probably the third time he took drug again and die of overdose or heart failure. Drug addict need longer jail sentence to recuperate. I smoke cigarette for more than twenty years, gave up smoking for 4 years and yet i can go back to smoking. But i am a non-smoker now for the 25 years. What is tobacco compare to morphine.

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