Tuesday, 20 July 2010


It really bothers me to read about the persecuted British author Alan Shadrake who wrote about Singapore's capital punishment in his book Once a Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice in the Dock.

His charge? Defamation and contempt of court.

What makes my blood boil more is how the majority response appears to be that he's wrong to even try and meddle in our home affairs, that he's an ex-colonialist who has no idea what's happening here.

The ad hominem problems are shifting our attention away from the real issue he is trying to highlight - problems with our corporal punishment system.

I think he is entitled to his view, regardless of whether his opinions have weight or not, but it is thoroughly embarassing that we are refusing to approach the matter intellectually, resorting to subtle state violence yet again under the convenient cover of sovereignty.

If the government has nothing to hide or prove about how our law is run, why resort to this?

I hope his persecution only serves to backfire more on the reactive policies being dished out by the state at the moment.

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