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.


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]

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New edition of Alan Shadrake's Once a Jolly Hangman to be launched

According to British author Alan Shadrake, the new edition of his controversial book Once a Jolly Hangman has been published in Australia, UK and Malaysia, and will be "launched almost simultaneously in these countries".

The new edition will exclude sections which have been ruled by Singapore High Court as scandalising and tarnishing the reputation of the Singapore judiciary. Despite so, Shadrake promised that the book will be as "hard-hitting" as the first edition and "devastatingly accurate".

The book will also be updated to reflect current developments in capital punishment cases in Singapore, such as the ongoing case involving the judicial review appeal of Malaysian drug mule Yong Vui Kong.

Earlier this year, several youths were hauled in for investigation by the Singapore Police Folice for the alleged selling of the print edition of Jolly Hangman, which authorities claimed has not been banned, but in an apparent act of contradiction sent letters demanding bookstores to withdraw the book from their shelves, which they promptly acceded to.

The unannounced ban on the sale of the book has also stroked curiosity and shored up demand which propelled it to bestseller status last year with 4 print runs in 5 months.

Singapore, which has the toughest capital punishment laws in the region, continues to arbitrarily apply the death sentence to convicts and defy international trend for abolishment. In its most recent ruling, the High Court announced that the Singapore President has no powers to grant clemencies to death row convicts unless explicitly instructed by the Cabinet.

Ceremonial head of State, SR Nathan
As such, the Clemency Petition looks set to be a redundant process for all future clemency appeals to the current President, S.R. Nathan.

After an uncontested victory in 1999 where he was hand-picked by the authoritarian regime to assume the position, the President has never granted a single Clemency Petition in his 12 years as ceremonial head of State. Last year, he launched his book aptly entitled "Why Am I Here?", describing his earlier years as a maritime trade union labour officer.

Officially the highest paid political figure in the world with an annual public-funded salary of US$3.4 million, the President certainly makes no disguise of the redundancy of his existence in public service. 

As President S.R. Nathan has asked the question of his existence, we would also like to ask the same: Why is the President here? 



  1. Well done Alan Shadrake!
    May you prosper in health, wealth and fortitude!

    I look forward to your next book,
    "Lee Con You, I Stand Corrected"

  2. Keep up the good work Alan.

    Many people in Singapore are behind you, and we want to thank you for your courage to write this book. You defiance of the authoritarian regime is an inspiration to all of us. Many of us have lived in fear and submission for far too long, and will never dream of questioning the authorities. You book is a waking up call to us.

  3. alan shadrake lives in malaysia and malaysia has the mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking cases.

    now the big question is - why didn't alan shadrake also include malaysia as a case study in his so called "book" ?

  4. @anonymous 8:38AM: that's like saying that a book on Confucianism in Korea should also have a chapter on Confucianism in Japan if the author is living there. That makes absolutely no sense. I would encourage Alan to write a book on Malaysia as well! :)

  5. this book is not banned in singapore the last I checked

  6. the reason why I did not include Malaysia in Once a Jolly Hangman is because I spent seven years in Singapore and only left to take up residence in Penang early last year. I am currently researching this subject in Malaysia - so be patient. Next on my list is Saudi Arabia and those United States states that also still keep the dp.