Overthinking It, What's going on?

When the trafficker plays the victim card

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)





  1. This post just made me laugh. Blaming the traffickers for people who CHOSE to abuse drugs themselves? Come on. Even if you hang one trafficker dead it still wouldn’t affect the needs of the abusers. That freaking grams may feed a lot of abusers, but he isn’t the only one bringing drugs into Singapore.

    To the potential clients who might get a drug overdose you mentioned (blaming the traffickers)?, the clients themselves also made decision to this path to be a drug abuser.

    Furthermore, the only reason why this case went viral was because of the injustice sentence. Why did Yong Vui Kong get spared a life for trafficking the same drugs while he didn’t?

    • Bo bo

      Your comment made me laugh. Drug traffickers are the root of drug problems in Singapore, if there are no drug traffickers, there won’t be any Heroin/Cannabis drug abusers here. It’s true the drug abusers chose this path, but the drug trafficker is the one responsible for providing him the substance to abuse.
      It’s also true that there are a lot of potential drug traffickers. That’s why there’s the death penalty to deter these people from bringing drugs into the country. If they are willing to put their lives on the job, they better pray that they are not caught.
      Yong Vui King was spared because of the amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Act. He was deemed only as a courier when he was caught. This same law doesn’t apply to Ridzuan as concluded by the judges and appeal. So what’s unfair about this case?

      • Chome

        I know what I am talking abt because my immediate family member has died due to drug abuse. Yes, he has chosen to take the path but he has also chosen to turn over a new leaf. He has weaned off drugs for few years and during that few years, the drug pusher stalked him and offered freee drugs until he succumb to the temptation.

        Look, the traficker is no angel but why do you portray them as one?

      • Rhasta

        Cannabis? But it’s not a drug? It’s legal for medical use in many countries?

    • Chome

      I hope your loved one will hook to drugs. Amen.

      • Rasy

        it seems u r commenting base on ur personal issue n u fail to see the whole picture that is set out clearly for all to see.

        u saying such things to say to other family may u get the same feeling dont reflect well on urself n ur religion. this is all fated.

        find out really why drug was invented n its motives before u try to push ur personal grudges against traffickers. might as well we go straight to the root of it and blame the head of it directly but then who are we to get to the head and end it once n for all?

        many felt there was injustice. thats it full stop. it takes this issue to show it. full stop. it just happened its a drug case. thats what many felt. im glad even other races stoodup for Ridzuan…

        im not saying ur post is wrong. its ur opinion. but u pray/curse for someone else’s calamity which disturbs me… chill bro… dont take it too hard… whats past is past… u feel as though u r the only one who hv family losing to drug… ther3 are many more bro…

        my advice go n research about drugs n its purpose and the mastermind n hope u understand…

    • anggerek

      You are protecting the trafficker so much…Are you one of them?

  2. Sharvin

    Exactly his point. Now it’s just a blame game. He CHOSE to traffic drugs in when he had the CHOICE. Thing is, EVERYONE has a CHOICE, be it traffickers or abusers. It’s not like abusers have a leeway with the law. They have their own judgements from the law when they are caught. If you dare to do the crime, then be prepared to do the time. Hanging one mule wouldn’t stop the whole drug issue with singapore, nobody said it would. But it would definatly send a message to whoever is doing it or plan to do it. Yong vui kong got a change in his sentence due to the amendment of the misuse of drugs act. There isn’t any injustice being done when the law is clearly spelt out with bold letters on posters, banners, cards etc all over the at the points of entry into this country.

  3. There’s a difference between playing a victim and becoming a victim. When someone doesn’t accept what he did and blame it on others or other factors, only then we called it as playing the victim and it doesn’t matter who or what harm does the person do to himself or others but we can’t say a person who takes responsibility of what he does & feel sorry for it as playing victim as we knew that the person mentioned in the writing have already accepted his fate, which means he have already take that responsibility for what he did and so it is not considered playing a victim but now the law makes him a victim as we all know and people are playing his card even after his death. So do we see who’s the real victim is?

    • Chome

      Yes, it’s that lawyer and many more following suit playing his game of putting the accused as victim when he himself did not admit he is a victim. So many people have been conned by that lawyer.

  4. bigdoug

    “What these so-called activists failed to understand is this – HE KNOWINGLY DECIDED TO BE A TRAFFICKER.”

    But would the same apply to the drug abusers as well? If Ridzuan made a choice to traffic drugs and got caught and has to pay the penalty, wouldn’t the drug abusers have to pay the same penalty for their addiction?

    Aside, the other argument is whether we can still punish drug traffickers but without the death penalty. As we move towards a more humane society, should the state still decide the life (or death) or someone?

  5. Soraida

    WOW you people KILL the mules in Singapore? Hahaha that is crazy! Thats like, insanely oppressive.

    Drug trafficking is a political issue, with ties to the authorities. If drugs are being sold then the only message your “zero tolerance” law gives is that mules will be the only ones executed, not the real drug kings. The drug cartel will be alive and well, with their political friends and connections, knowing the mules will be killed even if they talk about their higher ups.

    What a scam! And singaporeans eat it! I hope the cultural shock of having the rest of the world laugh at your insane laws makes you people wake up.

  6. No

    Author obviously fails to understand the intricacies of drug trade. Mules traffic drugs willingly, but nevertheless under exploitation by the bigger powers at play. It is not a rational decision of risk vs reward, but rather a mix of poor sense and materialistic fetishism caused by the class divide. Author fails to look at the issue from a broader, society-level perspective, and instead concludes without considering the gravity of the death penalty.

  7. ironic

    If you support execution of traffickers because their act of trafficking destroys lives of many people, then in that case the government deserves to be executed too, because they went ahead with building the casino, which destroys lives of many every year. But we only execute the trafficker due to a ‘law’, passed by humans (who have no right to decree a right and wrong for others). In both cases, building a casino and trafficking are both in the name of generating a revenue, so the supporters of this law need to wake up already. Plus, the lives destroyed by drugs were also an OPTION for those people, not like they were killed against their will so u shouldnt blame the trafficker for (destroying lives) or intentionally breaking the law anyway

    Dont be scared to voice your opinions guys

  8. I think you have very clearly identified the main problem. It is reprehensible for anyone to become rich by selling addictive substances or experiences that ruin/destroy lives. But your death-sentence solution is flawed, because justice systems are flawed. Death is irreversible, and therefore no “official” or “public servant” should have the power to impart it as a sentence.

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