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« Africa is Not a Country - Part XXVI | Main | A Comparative Reading of Japanese and Korean Dramas »

November 28, 2005

Comments

Factory

"I wouldn't want to live in a wretched bastion of authoritarianism with such cruel laws for any amount of money in the world."
Well Singapore is bad for a developed country, there are far more worthy contenders to the 'bastion' title. A bit of rhetorical overkill IMHO.

"Singapore's laws seem to have been dredged out from the same historical trash-heap in which Qin dynasty legalism was deposited 2,200 years ago."
From what I've read, it's basically british colonial law.

Abiola Lapite

"Well Singapore is bad for a developed country, there are far more worthy contenders to the 'bastion' title. A bit of rhetorical overkill IMHO."

Singapore makes claims to be a civilized, modern nation, which makes its barbaric laws all the more unforgiveable.

"From what I've read, it's basically british colonial law."

Oh please! Drawing and quartering and slavery were also part of British law at some point, but that doesn't make it o.k. to practice them. Singapore's savagery is *not* some hangover from British rule but the outcome of a conscious decision by Lee Kuan Yew to practice the "Asian values" he's always preaching about - the same "Asian values" he and the despots of Beijing see eye-to-eye on. It wasn't Britain which taught Singapore's PAP how to use charges of sedition to intimidate bloggers and libel laws to muzzle opponents - the country is simply a rich despotism, little better in my eyes than the Gulf princedoms at the height of the oil boom.

In any case, this is all irrelevant stuff and nonsense. The fact is that Singapore loves to break the necks of small fry to "prove" something or other, but when it's big time dope dealers in khaki uniforms we're talking about, they're *welcomed* by Singapore with open arms.

http://www.theswanker.com/macammacam/2005/11/singapore_and_d.html

Factory

"Oh please! Drawing and quartering and slavery were also part of British law at some point, but that doesn't make it o.k. to practice them."
Of course not, colonial==bad, in my opinion.

"Singapore makes claims to be a civilized, modern nation, which makes its barbaric laws all the more unforgiveable."
Erm every country will claim to be civilized. I believe any country that executes criminals can be called 'barbaric', to some degree. But it's a continuum, and Singapore is just not the furthest into barbarism.
Indeed on the issue of the drug war IMHO Singapore basically on the level with pretty much the rest of the world in regards to dealing with drugs. The 'barbarity' of demonising drug users is everywhere, why single out Singapore as being any worse?

(interestingly aparantly the above message is spam, wtf?)

Abiola Lapite

"Indeed on the issue of the drug war IMHO Singapore basically on the level with pretty much the rest of the world in regards to dealing with drugs. The 'barbarity' of demonising drug users is everywhere, why single out Singapore as being any worse?"

Because it is.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/4472808.stm

["Tiny Singapore - with its zero tolerance approach to drugs - has the highest execution rate, per capita, in the world."]

Yes, that's right, worse than China and Saudi Arabia, which really takes some doing. Singapore may be wealthy, but it is a bastion of barbarism nonetheless. There is just no way you can pin the barbarism described in the following article on British colonial rule - these ridiculous laws were introduced in 1975.

http://www.amnesty.org.uk/news/press/15101.shtml

"(interestingly aparantly the above message is spam, wtf?)"

I've been getting it too. Who knows what the hell is going on with TypePad now?

Eric von Schonberg

Something has to be done about the arrogance of the Singaporean authoritarian government. Unfortunately, Australia is not a very strong country, and it's leader seem clearly lacking in courage and forcefulness. If a citizen of a powerful country is ever on death row in Singapore, I'd like to see the leader of that powerful country tell the Singaporean government unequivocally that if they carry out the execution, it will be treated as an act of war. Then, if they went ahead and executed him anyway, I'd like to see two cruise missles launched taking out both the President and the Prime Minister of Singapore, followed by a warning to whomever replaces the eliminated leaders that another execution of one of their citizen will result in Singapore's sovernty being completely revoked. Singapore has much riches, and I'd love to see it plundered by a powerful country.
Eric von Schonberg

Ronald

"Unfortunately, Australia is not a very strong country, and it's leader seem clearly lacking in courage and forcefulness."

Why is that? Perhaps because it was Singapore that eased the way for Australia to participate with ASEAN economically. This has greatly benefited Australian companies, hence PM Johm Howard did not call for boycotts.

"If a citizen of a powerful country is ever on death row in Singapore, I'd like to see the leader of that powerful country tell the Singaporean government unequivocally that if they carry out the execution, it will be treated as an act of war. Then, if they went ahead and executed him anyway, I'd like to see two cruise missles launched taking out both the President and the Prime Minister of Singapore, followed by a warning to whomever replaces the eliminated leaders that another execution of one of their citizen will result in Singapore's sovernty being completely revoked."

Sovereignty being revoked? What a new interesting take on world politics. Firstly, those state's which have had their citizens on death row have been extradited. Both the United States and French have done so, according to a BBC News article.

And as for a "powerful country" sending cruise missiles? Well, Singapore is apart of the Commonwealth; UK and others would engage in diplomatic discussions, and if those are to no avail would place economic pressure on the city-state before anything. And even then, British, Indian, Australian, etc. citizens live in Singapore. Bombing your own countrymen may not appeal to those at home. Well, how about the United States? That would be a resounding "no" under this current President. President George W. Bush and PM Lee Hsien Loong re-affirmed a strong commitment between the two nations earlier this year. The U.S. has a vested interest in Singapore and Singapore has been an ally on Bush's war in terror, preventing an attack against a U.S. base a few years back. Plus, economic interests are again a factor. If negotiations failed, Bush would exert economic pressure. But send cruise missiles?
Unlikely. Americans live there. Moreover, why attack by missiles when the USAF is at Paya Lebar? For goodness sake, forget the missiles, you're already on the island! And would China attack? No. Since PM Lee's father, Lee Kuan Yew, worked during his years to form relations with China and promote some sort of ties based on the Chinese population (an appeal to nationalism, what's new?).

Say another nation? Well, the problem would be the USAF. I doubt the American military would be too pleased to have its military bases, men, and women destroyed because a nation sent cruise missiles. The last nation to devastate an American base had two nuclear bombs dropped on it. Moreover, Singapore has military agreements with the 5 powers set out in its earlier years. An attack on Singapore by another nation (other Commonwealth, US, China) would be an "act of war" not just on Singapore, but on those nations linked to Singapore.

"Singapore has much riches, and I'd love to see it plundered by a powerful country."

Riches? Singapore, a tiny island city state that has to re-claim land, make water contracts with Indonesia just in case KL decides to cut off water through JB, find a way out of the country if it the Causeway is closed, etc., does not have "riches."

The only "riches" you will find perhaps is its harbour and the financial sector. The financial sector cannot be readily exploited, short of freezing and seizing its assets. But some of these riches belong to the private companies of foreign nations that continue to invest in the city-state. No MNC, particularly those in the U.S., would want tosee their money disappear and great pressure would be exerted to prevent government interfence in the actions of private organizations.

Or maybe perhaps you want to plunder Singapore Airlines? Running the Kangaroo Route, perhaps? Again, those are "riches" that cannot be readily exploited. Unless you plan to sell of the Boeings and use the A380s to fly your own airline, assuming that you can landing rights to nations.

Singapore's laws are Draconian. Undoubtedly, developed nations, with the notable exception of the United States, have outlawed capital punishment. But the fact is, Nguyen was caught with 400 g of heroin. When entering Singapore, travelers are reminded everywhere about the states' drug laws. When you enter a country--even if in transit--their laws apply, even if outdated, and barbaric. If these barbaric punishment is to be ended, then there must be a concerted international effort to place a ban on all nations.

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