Monday, November 21, 2005

The Day I Talk About Drug Smuggling

(Note: This post is not targeted at any Australian official or government agency. It is merely a viewpoint of a 17-year-old. Reader discretion is advised.)

In the recent case of the planned execution for Australian national, Nguyen Tuong Van, by the Singaporean Government, there have been campaigns in Australia fighting to prevent it. As seen in the recent news reports by several papers, after their repeated pleas for clemency have been turned down, the Australian Government is considering an appeal to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

As far as I know, the opposition parties in Australia have gone to the extent of urging their governtment bodies to have trade sanctions against Singapore, as well as use SIA's desire to fly between Australia and the US as a bargaining chip. Australian PM John Howard was quoted saying, "The Singapore Government should not imagine that this issue is going unnoticed in Australia."


Let us have a quick recap of Australia's history of racism towards Asians (in general):

This is an excerpt from Pauline Hanson's speech made in the federal parliament on Tuesday, 10th September, 1996:

"Immigration and multiculturalism are issues that this government is trying to address, but for far too long ordinary Australians have been kept out of any debate by the major parties. I and most Australians want our immigration policy radically reviewed and that of multiculturalism abolished. I believe we are in danger of being swamped by Asians. Between 1984 and 1995, 40 % of all migrants coming into this country were of Asian origin. They have their own culture and religion, form ghettos and do not assimilate."

Here's a report by Kevin M. Dunn on Racism in Australia:


Now, let's get back to the case we have in Singapore. Under the Singapore Statutes, Cap. 185, the "Misuse Of Drugs" Act, the death penalty is mandatory.

I feel that what the opposition side of the Australian government is doing now is just to fight for the plight of Australians, not for Nguyen. Opposition foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd claims that Singapore has treated Australia "with contempt" because Nguyen was only allowed to see his mother through a glass partition while being held in jail. However, it is known that every prisoner in Singapore is only allowed visitation behind glass partitions, should they be Singaporean or non-Singaporean; There are no known exceptions.

Flights to Singapore clearly announce that drug traffiking in or through the country will result in the carrying out of the death penalty. Therefore, I feel that the Australian parties opposing the death penalty have no right in objecting in the decisions made over the execution. The sob-fest behind Nguyen's smuggling may be moving, but laws are laws.

If you choose to smuggle drugs through a country that has a death penalty against a crime like that, then don't smuggle if you don't want to die.

And that's my prerogative.

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