Latest: Singapore single mother awaits death row in Malaysia for drug trafficking. On the pretext of a business trip to China, Iqah was handed a suitcase containing heroin arranged by her Nigerian boyfriend and was arrested by Malaysian Immigration. A campaign is underway to raise funds for the appeal. To find out more, read

We have also heard that since Vui Kong's appeal started, there has been an unofficial stay of execution for all prisoners on death row in Changi Prison, pending the decision of the court on Yong's case. As the case has been dismissed by the Court of Appeal, we anticipate a Changi gallows bloodbath in a scale not seen since the Pulau Senang uprising in 1965 when 18 men were convicted of murder and hanged in a single Friday morning.

Singapore, which routinely persecute dissenters and critics, continue to hang young drug runners while at the same time work closely with Burmese military generals, and has invested billions in business ties with Burma, one of the biggest heroin manufacturing countries the world.

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If you know someone who's charged in a capital case, received the death sentence, or is on death row in Singapore and if you have have your side of the story to tell, contact us at sgdeathpenalty [at] gmail.com


Friday, December 11, 2009

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


THE DEATH PENALTY IN SINGAPORE

Singapore had been described as the world’s hanging capital leading in the number of executions per capita. Each execution is carried out by hanging at Changi Prison every Friday at dawn. Crimes that constitute the death sentence include the following:

a. Waging or attempting to wage war, or abetting the waging of war against the Government
b. Offences against the President’s persons or treason
c. Mutiny
d. Piracy endangering lives
e. Murder
f. Abetting the suicide of a person under the age of 18, or an ‘insane’ person
g. Attempted murder by a prisoner serving a life sentence
h. Kidnapping
i. Drug trafficking
j. Unlawful discharge of firearms

The death penalty is applicable and mandatory for trafficking of: (source)

Heroin – more than 15 grams
Cocaine – more than 30 grams
Crystal Meth – more than 250 grams
Cannabis – more than 500 grams
Cannabis mixture – more than 1000 grams

"I don’t believe in the abolishment of the death sentence."

According to polls, most Singaporeans wholly support the death penalty. This is not surprising because death penalty has its uses with the most common explanation being the deterrent factor.

In this case, cruel as the punishment may be, our campaign does not seek to abolish the death penalty, but to be able to effect change on the Mandatory Death section of the law. If the law allows for minimum 20 years and 15 strokes or death, judges will be able to exercise their powers to apply judiciary execution on the person or let him face the maximum life sentence with strokes.

What is the minimum age for death sentence in a capital case in Singapore?

18 years old.

What is the view of sgdeathpenalty on capital punishment in Singapore?

We are categorically anti death penalty, because statistics have not conclusively shown that death penalty is a deterrant factor to prevent crimes, statistically speaking. Certain states in the U.S.A. still employ the death sentence, but even those are meted out to the worst of offenders. Join us on Facebook at Singapore Anti Death Penalty Campaign.

Why is a teenager sentenced to hang for drug trafficking?

Singapore laws explicitly states that anyone above the age of 18 years is liable to face the ultimate penalty of death if convicted for drug offences of a pre-determined amount. Because Yang Wei Guang, at the time of arrest was 18 years 6 months old, he missed the exemption of the death conviction by a few months, making him one of the youngest people ever to face the gallows in Singapore.

Vui Kong, with his sister in Sabah

What does the mandatory death sentence mean?

Mandatory death sentence is applicable to cases of drug trafficking of over 15g of heroin. The word “mandatory” in the section of law means judges have no discretion to apply a lighter sentence on the convict, even if the drug offender is a teenager or have other considerable mitigating factors.

In other words, judges have to strictly apply the law if the facts satisfy the requirements of hanging a person, i.e. above 18 years of age, 15g of heroin, et cetera, with no chance of considering other factors in play.

Why is it so difficult to pass the death sentence on Yong Wei Kong?

According to Yong’s petition for clemency that was submitted to the President, the trial judge, Justice Choo Han Teck, had called both the defence and prosecution into chambers before the commencement of the trial and noted Yong’s relatively young age at the time of the offence.

Justice Choo then asked the Prosecution to consider reducing the capital charge to a non-capital one. The prosecution declined.

We know from this that Justice Choo had taken into consideration Yong's age and bakground, but was bound by the rigidity of the law that he cannot impose any other sentences other that the surity of death. Which brings us back to the issue of the Mandatory part of the law applicable to drug traffickers.

The law is concise and rigid, with no regards to factors such as age, background of the offender and other special circumstances. That is why we seek to raise public awareness and support for the review and abolishment of the outdated mandatory death penalty for drug traffickers in Singapore.

This is absurd. How can a small group like you change the law?

Laws are never sacrosanct, they must change accordingly with time.

Streams will flow into rivers, rivers will flow into a great delta and eventually the little streams will make up the ocean. Singapore lawyers, such as human rights lawyer M. Ravi and the likes of prominent laywers K.S. Rajah have all spoken out fervently on the death penalty issue.

The Law Society is aware that this outdated section of the law needs to be reformed, but unless more Singaporeans understand and support the movement to effect change, it will be difficult for things to move and it is likely that more 18 year old teenagers will be sentenced to hang in the future.

11 comments:

  1. I have the impression that a majority of citizens are in favour of retaining the death penalty. Are there any reliable statistics carried out by opinion poll regarding the man in the street's view on the death penalty in Singapore?

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  2. If you dont want to die, dont do it.

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  3. are u saying that those who do it do so because the are intentionally looking for death?

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  4. I won't say they do it because they are intentionally looking for death, no one does. That is just against the law of nature.

    But if they do that action or crime which they know will warrant the death penalty, they should be prepared for that eventuality if they do get caught, whether they like it or not. simple as that.

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  5. You are missing out on the fact that some offenders are not fully aware of the law and many of these come from broken homes and families. Please have some sympathy and not make it seem as though they want to smuggle drugs willingly.

    ReplyDelete
  6. They destroy the lives of the young and naive by
    introducing drugs to them,so the noose is the right
    price they-the drug dealers and brutal killers-must
    pay.Let us stick to the will of the people...democracy
    in action.In Australia and in England we got hypocrisy
    and not democracy,for the VAST majority of our
    people want THE NOOSE ! But we are gagged ! The so
    called 'LEFTIES" like you represent tiny minority of
    highly vocal trouble makers.What about the victims
    of crime...who cares for them ????

    ReplyDelete
  7. no one has the right to take life, making someone spend the rest of their days behind bars for the things they have done yes, but no-one but god has the right to extinguish something so special, regardless of how ill-used.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Could anyone give me updated information on the death penalty please? I need them for my debate. Could anyone tell me how in the death penalty carried out in Singapore and how long is the gap between the time of the actual execution and the time when the verdict is given?

    Thanks in advance.
    P.S. : I need this in a hurry

    ReplyDelete
  9. Does Changi Prison offer viewing of hanging to the public?

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  10. I don't think so..... Singapore is not North Korea.
    I think death penalty for drug trafficking is too harsh. Some people are forced to do it out of poverty or pressure by crime syndicates.
    Executing people who are always down-to-earth but driven to commit evil beyond their will just....... doesn't seem right to me.

    ReplyDelete