I can't sleep. I think its because quite a certain amount of friends ask me why I am so against Tan Cheng Bock (Yes, he's a nice grandfatherly figure and to a certain extent, trustworthy) after I thrashed him in my last post and decided not to vote him. Why I am so against the Mandatory Death Penalty(MDP)? Well first thing first we need to understand what is MDP in Singapore. It's the capital punishment where someone would received if he breaks certain laws in Singapore. And yes, its mandatory. Why? According to their thinking, its because once they know there is such a harsh penalty, you won't even dare to try it in the first place. Sounds good hor?? Use scare tatic leh.
But this world is not as black and white! Certain people did not convict these crimes because they wanted to. Or even worst, they are not even aware they were commiting the crimes! Examples are these 3 recent cases tajken from an article by 2nd Chance. Full article is here
Yong Vui Kong is 23 years old this year. He had been arrested at the age of 19 in possession of 42.27g of heroin. Unlike Ahmad Zahir Ismail, a gang member who was spared from jail and caning earlier this month, Vui Kong was sentenced to death under the Mandatory Death Penalty. Vui Kong is now repentant, and has spent the past 4 years studying, meditating (he is now a devout Buddhist) and trying his best to atone for his mistakes within prison walls. He is not asking for acquittal and release. He is only asking to be allowed to live, so that he may continue in his self-improvement and meditation.
Cheong Chun Yin was charged with trafficking in over 2kg of heroin. However, he maintains to his day that he had been under the impression that he was only smuggling gold bars for a friend from the pasar malam where he worked. He also cooperated fully with the investigating officers, giving them details and even the phone numbers of the man who had arranged the whole job for him. However, the investigating officers made no attempt to trace this man. The trial judge also ruled that it was “immaterial” that the officers did not make “adequate efforts” to do so.
Like Chun Yin, Roslan bin Bakar also continues to insist upon his innocence even though he is at the last stage of the process. Besides the testimonies of others, there was no concrete evidence proving that Roslan had been at the scene. Roslan also provided an alibi. His mother and step-brother testified in support, but the judge did not believe them.
Ok, So what does this have to do with the President of Singapore? Well if you have read the book by Alan Shadrake, Once a Jolly Hangman. The Death Warrant, which is the last piece of document thats need to be signed and endorsed needs a signature. Whose signature? None other than the highest office holder, our President of Singapore! Thats why TKL asked for a review in this matter as he do not wish to sign that peice of paper!!
Because its a joke. The canbinet decides but the last piece of paper is signed by our President! With no power to grant clemency or ask for a retrial!
So now you see why its relevancy in choosing one who blantanly believes in Mandatory Death Penalty? Again I am not asking you to change allegiance and vote for TKL or TJS. Its YOUR CHOICE and I have MINE :) Maybe if you try to believe TCB would think about it later and change his mind when he is President but I can't take that risk. He has givein his views and his views are clear. Just follow the consitution and sign the dotted line of death.
And that's sad. I wonder Nathan has he ever went down personally to the gallows to talk to the convicts before their demise? $4mil a year to sign death warrants. What a job!