Singapore: Singapore-Australia Relations

Serendipity points to an article on Singapore's Prime Minister's visit to Australia and hopes that relations will improve after the low point last year when Singapore hanged an Australian who was convicted of smuggling heroin.

1 comment

  • Lowell

    I hold John Howard accountable for the execution of Nguyen more than the Singaporean government. If he had done what other countries without a death penalty do when their citizens are accused of crimes in countries with capital punishment, Nguyen is likely to be alive today. There is the case of the German citizen who was rescued by his government that applied pressure on Singapore who suddenly “decided” the quantity of drugs was below the limit for a capital offence. The Canadian government is ever vigilant with its citizenry, being so close to the country with the highest execution rate in the world with underage and mentally challenged people included in the slaughter. The strategy is to go in early and hard before officialdom has a chance to dig in so they will have an opportunity to “find” a face-saving way to back down.

    But Singapore should not be left off the hook. It is NOT a democracy, but rather an oligarchy, run principally by elites from one family, and capital punishment in this day and age is barbaric in the extreme. If dissent was freely allowed in the country, opposition leaders would probably be able to support a big enough campaign to convince people of this fact, just as they have been in an overwhelming number of countries in the world. Why it continues to exist in the U.S. which ostensibly is a democracy is a whole discussion unto itself for which reading Chomsky’s book, “Deterring Democracy” is a prerequisite.

    The Howard government should be standing up for its citizens when they find themselves in harm’s way. Nguyen is just one example of how it is not doing so. David Hicks is another. The incarceration and deportation of citizens who are mistaken for illegals without properly ensuring who they are, are others. The list is long. The government here is too busy sucking up to the elite business interests in Singapore, to the Americans in their farcical “war on terrorism” and to the many racists in Australia who quite effectively keep the white Australia policy going in fact, if not in name. Any person of colour here can vouch to this sad and ugly fact.

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