Tuesday, November 08, 2005

2 Sentences

It does seem like we are not really well liked by our friends from down under. And probably because we have a problem with listening and that, we do have a sentence that is rarely liked, the death sentence. While this has been fine and dandy with the people in Oz, it became a problem when not 1 but 2 people from the land of Oz was recently spending time here and that they might end up getting the hang of it so to speak.

The first guy probably will get away lucky. In fact, he is not even an Aussie. He is a Briton, which had spent quite a fair bit of time in Singapore and was doing rather well, when skeletons from the closet came out and almost put him away. I would not use the term skeletons but rather dead bodies which he had hidden after killing them, his girlfriend squealed on him and he ran down south only to be caught and tried for some other crime. We got our man after a long and drawn out legal and political wrangling which made us gave our word that he will not be hanged for his crime despite the mandatory sentence of death for murdering someone in cold blood. A blood for a blood, but I guess this case, he gets a discount. And if his lawyer had his way, just a few year in an institute by pleading one degree or another of insanity. If you ask me, I would prefer to let the Australian keep this guy in their prison or whatever, we really do not need to set such precedent of extraditing someone by making deals with them to have sentencing reduced. What is the point of trying someone, which is at our expenses when the full sentence could not even be served? If we have to pay from our pocket to feed this guy for the rest of this life for his killing spree, I would consider that a punishment befitting of his crime. More like a booby prize.

The other case was a bit sadder as the guy was caught trafficking a bit too much heroine into our airport. This guy was in fact transiting Singapore with the aim of smuggling insanely amount of heroine to Australia. While 400g might not seem to be a lot it definitely earns the gallows for Mr. Nguyen in this case. This is despite the fact that he is doing all these to pay off his brother’s debt and that he was in transit in Singapore. While his case wrings ones heart and his case deserves sympathy, His plea for clemency was denied and that despite all said and done, he will not be spare the rope. This paints a stark picture that there will always be runners like that, which will bear the brunt of the law, which makes a sad situation even sadder. This solves not the fundamental of the problem. It is like pruning the dry leaf of a plant in hope to kill the weeds, visible effort but no tangible results. I am sad to say that his life while taken within the letter of law, seeming taken more in the interest of this nation’s wish to express her sovereignty and that it will not take kindly to external interference. While I have always feel that it is paramount that external forces should be told in no uncertain ways that they are in no position to meddle with our business, but would a life of someone driven out of love for his brother into desperation a price too high?

The second episode reminds me of the recent scene in 汉武大帝, which saw the emperor in anguish and the court in uproar in what was a failed military operation against the 匈奴。The general leading the operations was a loyalist and in his whole life has no higher personal ambition than to defeat the barbarians pillaging the kingdom. His failure got him into jail and a possible execution. His son, at a moment’s folly, consorted with the premier through bribes in an attempt to exonerate him. Unfortunately, that incurred the wraith of the emperor and that the general was being executed for his failure. It seems like while law at time could be tempered with compassion, the wrong interference might very well firm the resolve to bring it to its bloody ends to everyone’s dismal. I sure hope that this will be the only time that I will witness a person that is being put to death under such circumstance, and of course, there are times, which I do wish that we do not need to bring such cretins into our shores.

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