As a convicted drug trafficker inches closer and closer to the noose, a bunch of “human rights activists” in Singapore, and their like-minded friends elsewhere in the world (mostly West) will sound their drums louder and louder, banging out cries of injustice, penning and sending petitions and statements calling for the halt of the execution, putting out the sob story of the parents watching helplessly as their child awaits death, showcase the family begging and kneeling outside the Istana or crying to the cameras. They would paint a picture of a person lured into drug trafficking by circumstance, blame the family background, blame society. The accused would show remorse and acts of contrition while in custody.
It is the same spiel every time.
And this week, we saw the same lobbying coming from the same folks, calling for the stay of execution of Muhammad Ridzuan bin Mohd Ali, 31.
There were poems…
There were articles covering the case and the petition…
And then there were obituaries on Friday as his execution was upheld…
What these so-called activists failed to understand is this – HE KNOWINGLY DECIDED TO BE A TRAFFICKER.
His decision to take this path, knowing that it carries the death penalty here (we are famous for this law anyway, so let’s not pretend to be ignorant kampong boys here) for quick money, if successful would have destroyed lives and families. Not one, but hundreds, even thousands.
He knew the risks involved, yet he went in because he wanted that blood-stained pot of gold. And so he paid the price when he got caught red-handed.
What the activists have essentially done, in fighting for a trafficker and making him out to be the victim in the court of public opinion, is to take a knife and stab the wives, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters and friends who have lost their loved ones to drugs.
Every time you play up the sob stories, you knife is stabbing at the real victims’ hearts.
Let’s get this straight. Muhammad Ridzuan was found guilty of trafficking 72.50grams of diamorphine (the chemical content in heroin). That amount, had it successfully reached the streets of Singapore is equivalent to 6,004 straws, sufficient to feed the addiction of 864 abusers for a week (as reported in Straits Times)
They say he was killed by people who don’t care.
Did Muhammad Ridzuan and his fellow traffickers care when we said “Do not bring your drugs here. You will die if caught.” ?
Did Muhammad Ridzuan and his fellow traffickers care when an addict dies from overdose because of his greed for that pot of blood-stained gold?
Did Muhammad Ridzuan and his fellow traffickers care that because of his drug trafficking to provide for his own family, someone else’s family is thrown into poverty, shambles, wreckage because a spouse is widowed or abandoned, and children lose parents, lose their homes, and end up being passed around by relatives like unwanted baggage?
I think this Facebook post by a netizen sums it up.
No activists are fighting for those who have had their happiness and hopes taken away by the drugs which the traffickers and pushers bring in. When they are left to look after loved ones brain-damaged or crippled by their addiction, no activist is saying, they deserved to have been spared this fate. When they are made to bury their own, no activist was there to take photos of the mourning and burial.
Dear activists and sympathisers of traffickers and those who are speaking up for the traffickers, wonder if tomorrow, your loved one was to die or become brain-damaged from drug overdose from the drug the traffickers carried in, would you be fighting to keep these traffickers alive?
In this instance, Muhammad Ridzuan’s accomplice, Abdul Haleem, got the life sentence and 24 strokes (he had gotten the Certificate of Cooperation from AGC which under the new law will remove him from the death row), while Muhammad Ridzuan was hanged.
While the revised laws did allow some ray of hope for those who would have otherwise faced the Mandatory Death Penalty, it should not give traffickers and would-be traffickers the wrong impression that they will not be executed if they can just give some or any sort of information on their syndicates or higher-ups in the drug chain. And more importantly, that the AGC should not be arm-twisted or pressured by activists and to give the COC to all and sundry.
Singapore remains safe and relatively drug-free and to keep it this way, we cannot soften our hearts. Addiction is a life-long mental battle starting from that first try. Ask a smoker, gambler, compulsive shopper who has quit about it and you will hear about a lifetime of resisting the temptation to go back to the old ways and “seek solace”. This is addiction. And if we want to keep the current and future generation of Singaporeans safe from this scourge, and reduce family tragedies, then the only way is zero tolerance.
I wonder if any of these activists have personally lost someone close to drugs. I have, and it is nothing short of getting stabbed repeatedly where it hurts so badly whenever you read the outpouring of sympathies for traffickers, the very people whose selfish actions had taken my loved one’s future and life away.
(cover photo from vice.com)