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Last updated on August 3rd, 2017 at 11:58 am

Given the oft-fatal results of heroin use, this comment from death penalty opponent Brian Deegan might be read as supporting Nguyen Tuong Van’s execution:

Let the punishment fit the crime.

Singapore replies: okie dokie! More on this from Matt Price, who notes requests from Democrat, Green, and Labor identities that the Prime Minister avoid a cricket match in protest at Nguyen’s sentence.

Posted by Tim B. on 12/01/2005 at 12:01 AM
    1. That Matt Price article is a gem. Here’s the transcript of the AM interview in which Jane Hutcheon suggests it would be insensitive for the PM to attend the cricket match, and generally badgers him over the issue.

      Posted by slammer on 2005 12 01 at 01:23 AM • permalink


    1. Were these august politicians demanding a minutes silence for the recently killed member of the SAS or for his wife who has lost not one but two husbands whilst serving Australia?

      Some will argue, ‘they are doing a job’. OK, then using that logic, how does a drug runner ‘doing his job’ qualify him for such a mark of national respect?

      Posted by Nic on 2005 12 01 at 01:46 AM • permalink


    1. if Jane Hutcheon really wants to do something meaningful to mark the grim occassion, she should hold her breath for ten minutes. no risk of killing brain cells that’s for sure.

      Posted by larrikin on 2005 12 01 at 01:59 AM • permalink


    1. Who was Jane Hutcheon representing by her question to the PM for a Minute’s Silence at the match?! Herself?
      #2 Nic puts it in a true perspective, and shows up the ABC’s disgraceful weeks-long campaigning on this issue.

      Posted by Barrie on 2005 12 01 at 02:05 AM • permalink


    1. Let’s say ‘sorry’; let’s cover something with flowers and teddybears; let’s gather and light scented candles; let’s sit in a circle and talk about our feelings.

      I’m going to be a little symbolic too and mime retching to the pit of my belly over sanctimony and impotent, passive, unctuous exhibitions of conspicuous compassion.

      Does Jane Hutcheon know that we reserve a minute on Nov 11 in memory of the 8,538,351 people who died in the Great War?

      Howard’s forbearance was remarkable.

      Posted by Inurbanus on 2005 12 01 at 02:10 AM • permalink


    1. In related developments, here in CA the courts just refused Tookie Williams’s plea for clemency.

      Tookie Williams was the founder of the Crips, the nationwide street gang that has killed more young black men than the Klan ever did.  He has a long line of entertainment and arts celebrities and religious leaders stacking up to plead for his life, since he’s hardly killed anybody in prison while awaiting execution for four murders by his own hand, with round the clock press coverage.

      His victims got little piles of discount store votive candles and stuffed animals where they died.

      I’m willing to bet not one of those celebrities or pulpit pimps can name even one of Tookie’s thousands of victims.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 12 01 at 02:20 AM • permalink


    1. I am not sure why the cricket match and the execution are being connected. There’s no connection. The Government have done all that can be done.

      Personally, I am opposed to capital punishment, while I think nobody forces anyone to take drugs. The endless letters in newspapers from parents about their kids dying of overdoses are sad, but seem to lacking any admittance of personal responsibility.

      Whatever the case, the execution is going to happen and life must go on.

      Posted by Major Anya on 2005 12 01 at 02:21 AM • permalink


    1. Hey, Inurbanus, you forgot the doves and balloons, you heartless clod.  A few Tina Arena ballads wouldn’t go astray, either.  But seriously, as one who opposes the death penalty, I do want to ask Nguyen’s supporters what they would consider an appropriate alternative custodial sentence.  Twenty years?  Most of them obviously think he should get a Michelle Leslie sentence.

      Posted by cuckoo on 2005 12 01 at 02:22 AM • permalink


    1. I must applaud Matt Price’s Doctors.  They must have got the medication just right.  For a lefty Dockers supporter it must take a shit load of drugs to get him to write like that.

      Posted by Razor on 2005 12 01 at 02:44 AM • permalink


    1. cuckoo

      Right, yeah, doves and compassionate head tilts – nothing too aggressive mind you.  We wouldn’t want them to be angry with us.

      Leslie laid on the bribes which will get you everywhere in Indonesia; the Singapore government keeps skullduggery in the club and ferociously punishes it elsewhere.  Taxi drivers will chase you with your change.

      The ‘Lion City’ likes to project a funky image to the West; there’s plenty of bra ads but let someone produce a play about how difficult it is for single mothers to get HDB flats or a piece on the brutality of caning and the other draconian barbarities of their criminal legal system, or openly discuss the way the PAP ruthlessly sues and harries political opponents and watch out – they’ll gut you.

      Government does not have the right and should not have the power to put its own citizens to death, particularly the anal, paranoid, hypocritical PAP.  I’m talking the proper suspicion of over-reaching govt that any ‘right of centre’ type will feel.

      Nguyen should have the book thrown at him though.

      Drug-related deaths linked to the abuse of Afghan heroin [alone] are estimated at approximately 100,000 per year.

      Yes, sure, there are most likely better ways to deal with the problem but in the meantime thousands are dying and god knows how many lives are wrecked.

      Posted by Inurbanus on 2005 12 01 at 03:31 AM • permalink


    1. Where does this tokenistic, puritanical, non sequiturial absurdity cease? …Why not a minute’s silence for every dead junkie?

      Just so. Why a minute silence only for the doomed pusher? What about his past victims? Are they not worth a minute?

      They act as though the death penalty takes more lives than the activities of a pusher. But clearly, the death penalty here can be seen as a life-saving event, can it not? If one person doesn’t OD on Saturday because there is a tiny, momentary drop in the heroin supply that day, then I think it was worth it. But then what else would you expect from an insensitive rightwing death beast? He loves the sick, addicted user more than the procurer and distributor of the poison.

      Life is full of tough choices. The pusher made his, and it was blank-staring dumb.

      Posted by ekw on 2005 12 01 at 04:52 AM • permalink


    1. Phatty addams had one of his usual fits of “Prohibition doesnt work so legalise it” last week.
      I have anger management issues with small, fat, balding, bearded, analy retentive ABC announcers. Currently “the man” will imprison me if I attack him with cheese grater and a bag of rock salt.
      Thats right they prohibit me from doing what I want.
      Anyone who ahs spoken to a young lady who was selling her gash for cash after being introduced to heroin by her pimp probably feels the same way.

      Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2005 12 01 at 05:16 AM • permalink


    1. #7: Darlene asks that junkies take ‘personal responsibility’ for their addictions?
      You’ve obviously never met/lived with or had a heroin addict in your family have you?

      Posted by Lucky Nutsacks on 2005 12 01 at 05:28 AM • permalink


    1. I had a friend die from an over dose, so I say get all the information you can out of Van Nguyen then arrest the people he has ratted out, finally put all of them together in the same cell. Thus the end result for him would save the cost of paying the hangman and the international problems involved.

      Posted by cjblair on 2005 12 01 at 05:36 AM • permalink


    1. The ABC again had a longer than necessary section of the TV news to this subject. I skipped 7.30 report as it was advertising an extended interview with Lex Lasry.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2005 12 01 at 05:48 AM • permalink


    1. You can just bet there will be a conerted push in some circles to have that minute of silence.  When is it supposed to be BTW? I am worried my car will have a really, really big problem with its horn right about then.

      Posted by entropy on 2005 12 01 at 06:25 AM • permalink


    1. #6, Richard

      As a fellow CAian, I confess, abashedly, to having been unaware of the most recent events surounding Tookie’s case. Does the fact that clemency has been denied now put him in the hands of the Gubernator? Can’t see him staying the rough hand of justice here, not with every appelate court in the land continuing to find him guilty of multiple murder. Even with all the celebrity overlords baring their expensive veneers for the cameras.

      The Crips are now a gigantic drug cartel. The damage that they have done, and continue to do, in this country needs to be publicised more broadly. Instead, there will probably be a Tookie Aid concert by Bono and a host of other concerned entertainers.

      Tookie Williams, however, is not a good poster child for eliminating the death penalty regardless of his ghost-written children’s books and his Nobel Peace Prize nominations(!). He’s innocent, of course, of murdering a shopkeeper and his family. Always innocent. He still refuses to take responsibility for his actions. There is an article on blackpundit called, Stanley “Tookie” Williams Must Die

      25 years on Death Row. Punishment enough, his supporters are saying. I say, keep him in jail till his bones turn to dust. But, come December 13th, it will probably be the needle. I’m not sad about that. It’s terrible justice, but it’s the law of the land. I can’t say I will mourn him, but I will pray for his benighted soul.

      Posted by ekw on 2005 12 01 at 07:05 AM • permalink


    1. Terrific work by Matt Price.
      I see Melbourne 3LO’s presenter John Faine has swanned into Singapore to cover the extravaganza live from the scene!  Suggest that they substitute the clown for Van Nguyen at the 11th hour as I’m pretty sure Van would return home fully rehabilitated but Faine won’t.

      Posted by pick-your-pun on 2005 12 01 at 07:14 AM • permalink


    1. I am generally opposed to the death penalty but have no of empathy with most of the campaign to stop the execution of drug trafficker Nguyen Tuong Van.

      The call for a minute’s silence on his behalf is astounding and selective.

      Why is there no campaign against the death penalty, for instance, of the three Christian Indonesian militiamen (‘militants’? ‘insurrectionists’? ‘terrorists’?) involved in the religious-strife torn district of Poso, Sulewesi.

      Is it because John Howard can’t be blamed … or because of the “M-word”?

      November 10 (AFP): Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has rejected a request for pardons by three Christian militia leaders sentence to death over sectarian conflict in Central Sulawesi … Fabianus Tibo, 60, Dominggus da Silva, 42, and Marinus Riwu, 48, were sentenced in 2001 after judges found them guilty of a series of murders as well as arson and torture carried out in Central Sulawesi’s Poso district in 2000 … More than 1,000 people were killed in violence that erupted in 2000 and pitted Muslims and Christians against each other until the government enforced a peace pact between the two camps in December 2001.

      Amnesty International is concerned at reports indicating that the trial of the three men in Palu District Court did not meet international standards of fairness. In particular, there are concerns that witness testimony provided as evidence by the defense may have been ignored by the Court when giving its verdict. There were also reports that there were armed demonstrators outside the courthouse, demanding the conviction of the three men. recalls: When the troubles broke out, a Christian leader, Mr. Lateka, tried to bring peace and agreed to meet the Muslim leaders at their mosque in Kayamanya, Poso. He was accompanied by Indonesian Police and military. When he arrived at the mosque he was executed in front of the police and military and dismembered. No-one was arrested … (and notes) …  It does seem strange that just two weeks after the Bali bombers declined to appeal for amnesty and that the Indonesian government officials said that they might possibly be executed before the end of the year, that now they announce that the three Christians would also be executed …

      Killing of Christians continues:: On October 29, three Christian schoolgirls were beheaded, and one student was injured by six unidentified assailants in Poso. The alleged perpetrators who committed this heinous crime were on motorcycles at the time and had their face covered … On October 31, a written threat was issued from an unidentified person or group stating that they will mutilate 100 heads of Christian people in Poso …

      Posted by Geoffrey MG on 2005 12 01 at 07:20 AM • permalink


    1. Hey you’d need to stand on a pogo stick to throttle sweet tilting Janie Hucheon.
      Note that the 7.30 Report did not cancel its “comedy slot” tonight with Clark and Bore.Red Kezza forgot the harrowing interview with Lex about Van Nguyen’s last hours and cracked a smirk at the unfunny,trying too hard skit..

      Posted by crash on 2005 12 01 at 11:25 AM • permalink


    1. 11 ekw

      But clearly, the death penalty here can be seen as a life-saving event, can it not?

      Only if this fellow is still pushing heroin while on Singapore’s death row.  Otherwise, he’s already out of the H bidness, eh?

      Posted by Stoop Davy Dave on 2005 12 01 at 11:25 AM • permalink


    1. Maybe Matt is having a road to Damascus moment now that the sedition laws are in and is rapidly reassessing his commitment to the far Left.
      ABC’s the Media report this am on RN hosted our old bete noir John Martinkus from sbs who was abducted by terrorists in Iraq and famously returned unharmed, post haste.This last after he proved his pro terrorist activity in the form of an sbs tape.
      Martinkus was there on rn to sledge the Howard government,back up Aidey the presenter and his other guests from Malaysia,India and Singapore as they screeched at the prospect of the sedition provisions in legislation.
      Beats me why they’d want to wail about losing press independence and freedoms they have been saying for years they don’t have,here in Australia.

      Posted by crash on 2005 12 01 at 11:36 AM • permalink


    1. 17 ekw

      25 years on Death Row. Punishment enough, his supporters are saying.

      I’m hearing on the radio, yesterday, that despite being in stir since 1971, this rat somehow has a 16-year-old son?  Reason we hear about this son is because he’s been arrested for armed robbery.  Reason we hear about his other son (presumably older) is because HE’s been arrested for murder.
      Assuming these radio stories are true (and I’m sorry to admit I haven’t checked), then Tookie’s success in the children’s books bidness sort of becomes FUCKING MEANINGLESS in view of how his own whelps have turned out.
      Hmf.  That ain’t my real beef, though.  My beef is about how this murdering rat wants to get credit for all the good intentions he’s formed, while sitting on death row.  Actually even THAT ain’t my real beef; my REAL beef is that there are people out there who are BUYING INTO this transparent bullshit.

      Posted by Stoop Davy Dave on 2005 12 01 at 11:36 AM • permalink


    1. #23 Stoop Davy Dave:

      “people out there who are BUYING INTO this transparent bullshit.”

      A lot of the Tookie mooks are actors. Transparent bullshit is their stock and trade.

      Posted by Rob C. on 2005 12 01 at 11:42 AM • permalink


    1. A lot of the Tookie mooks are actors. Transparent bullshit is their stock and trade.

      If I thought they were faking, maybe I’d be less disgusted … nahhhh.

      Posted by Stoop Davy Dave on 2005 12 01 at 11:54 AM • permalink


    1. o/t some clown penned a nasty,abusive letter about the Attorney General.Said how he (writer)used to work in the Immigration department and the Oz titled it Sedition and Mr Ruddock-
      Should have been titled whistleblowing after the fact but anyhow the best part was -they didn’t publish the name and address of the writer.Now ain’t that strange?

      Posted by crash on 2005 12 01 at 12:06 PM • permalink


    1. A lot of the Tookie mooks are actors. Transparent bullshit is their stock and trade.

      Actors – mmm, now there’s some of the smartest people in our society. Spend their time pretending to be other people that never existed uttering lines written by other people.

      The idea that actors are gifted, clever people was a PR lark dreamed up in the early days of Hollywood to drum up interest in the movies. Surely nobody still really believes it, do they?

      Two questions about actors:

      When someone says ‘that actor was very convincing in the role of Roger Kaputnik [i.e. some fictious person]’, how do they (the critics) know, given thst Roger Kaputnik never existed? Even if the actor plays a real person (eg Napoleon etc), only people who knew that person are fit to comment on whether or not the acting was convincing.

      If actors love their ‘art’ so much, how many do acting in their spare time, free of charge, out of the glare of an audience? Just for the sheer love of it. Eg do they wake up one morning and decide to be, say, their brother for a day? That way, other members of the family could pass serious judgement on the quality of the characterisation.

      I bet none of them do – they really don’t give a flying f**k about the ‘art’ if there is no money or applause in it.

      Posted by Flying Giraffe on 2005 12 01 at 12:23 PM • permalink


    1. I see that Amnesty International is holding a vigil for Nguyen in various Australian cities today.

      My question for Amnesty, the supposed “humanitarian movement” is where are the vigils for Lauren Huxley, the 18-year-old bashed, doused in petrol and left for dead in her Sydney home.  Weeks later she is still battling for her life.

      What a sick word it is we live in when a drug trafficker can command so much attention and a REAL victim so little (with the exception of the Daily Telegraph).

      Posted by tdw77 on 2005 12 01 at 03:25 PM • permalink


    1. While all the Tookie-fanciers are lighting their candles, they should also light four candles for:

      Albert Owens,
      Thsai-Shai Yang,
      Yen-I Yang, and
      Yee Chen Lin.

      Who are these people, you ask. They died on the dirty floor of a convenience store, of shotgun blasts. They had no due process, no chance to file appeals, or to write childrens’ books, or to be nominated for a Nobel Prize.

      Posted by ErnieG on 2005 12 01 at 04:04 PM • permalink


    1. Sometimes I despair at the (apparent) collective conciousness of my country. A minute’s silence for a grotty little heroin smuggler who was stupid enough to chance his luck going through Singapore of all places? Jesus wept!
      Personally, even though I support the death penalty for certain crimes (criminals subject to capital punishment seldom re-offend), I don’t think Nguyen should be hung for a couple of reasons. It’s already turned him into a martyr and his corpse is going to dragged through the streets by the sob-sisters and the ideologues for years to come. Secondly, its all a bit easy – one quick painless second and it’s all over. Better that he should have spent the rest of his life in a Singaporean prison repenting his sins.

      Posted by Boss Hog on 2005 12 01 at 04:07 PM • permalink


    1. Interesting in the commentary on Nguyen that the last Australian hanged was a Michael Mcauliffe in 1993 in Malaysia, also for heroin. Am I the only one who doesn’t recall this at all? I thought the last ones were Barlow and Chambers. Funny that there didn’t seem to be much of a fuss for this other guy. I certainly don’t remember the Keating Government having to justify itself in what it did to save him.

      Well maybe it’s just my poor memory and Keating cancelled his attendance at the Opera and stopped all his French clocks at the execution time.

      In contrast Downer had to go to the length this week of publishing as a media release all the representations made by the government, either through ministers or the High Commission, since Nguyen was arrested.

      Posted by Francis H on 2005 12 01 at 04:46 PM • permalink


    1. Sorry, but who forces people to stick a needle in their arm, Deo?

      I have managed to get through life without doing it and so have many others.

      I smoke cigarettes and that’s my choice and drink booze and that’s my choice.

      It’s seems the only time sympathy is laid on for junkies is in situations like this one. I feel sorry for junkies, but we are all have to take responsibility for our actions.

      As for capital punishment, it diminishes us all.

      Posted by Major Anya on 2005 12 01 at 04:57 PM • permalink


    1. I also disagree with capital punishment and would have been pleased to wake up this morning to see Nguyen’s sentence commuted (preferably to some nice long sentence).

      However I find alll this conspicuous compassion a bit distasteful. Candle lighting, vigils, calls for pointless symbolic gestures etc. All of it just smacks of people wanting to be seen to be progressive and caring but with the full knowledge that what they do will have no effect.

      If the Nguyen family want to make Nguyen’s death serve some purpose, perhaps they could establish a foundation to target young travellers on the dangers of thinking the very tough laws in some countries won’t apply to them and convey that the government has limited power to help.

      I think this would be more useful than adding to the anti-capital punishment lobby groups which are already numerous and, frankly, have an uphill battle in many countries.

      Posted by Francis H on 2005 12 01 at 05:24 PM • permalink


    1. Stoop D

      You’re right, he isn’t pushing anymore. It would be pretty hard to do it from Death Row. On the other hand, no death penalty, no Death Row. You’re back in the genpop of the prison. From there, criminals do indeed continue to run their empires.

      I’m not pushing for the death penalty here, though I am for it under certain conditions like multiple murder and murder with torture. I do not think that the death penalty is a good thing for us to do. But I wouldn’t be honest if I said I was against it. Maybe Mr. Nguyen should have his sentence communted.

      As to Tookie, your deductions are right. How could we say he has done any “good” at all when all we have to do is look at his kids? The whole thing is bogus. But if you’re against the death penalty I can understand it. I wouldn’t argue with anyone about it, and if his sentence is somehow miraculously commuted by Arnold, I wouldn’t be that angry except for the fact that it would have been the entertainment overlords who almost certainly convinced him. I have a huge beef with them.

      Posted by ekw on 2005 12 01 at 05:48 PM • permalink


    1. But if you’re against the death penalty I can understand it.

      Oh man!  What I am, vis-a-vis the death penalty, is conflicted.  Real conflicted.  Do I think ol’  Tookie has it coming, and would I prefer he went out MUCH more harshly than a lethal injection?  Fuck yes.  BUT.  Do I trust any government, even mine, to get the whole guilty/innocent thing right 100% of the time?  Fuck no.  And lacking 100% confidence in jury verdicts in capital cases, can I in good conscience support cap.pun. as a matter of policy?  No.  So usually when this topic comes up, I just get real quiet.

      Posted by Stoop Davy Dave on 2005 12 01 at 05:56 PM • permalink


    1. The hysteria about this case knows no bounds. Lasry, the lawyer, says in the link,
      “[Nguyen] feels he has led a good life for the last couple of years..” Well, of course, since he’s been in jail for three years, he really hasn’t had any opportunity to do anything else. And “He’s really such a special person”; well, yes, as a drug smuggler, I suppose he is.

      Posted by mr magoo on 2005 12 01 at 06:03 PM • permalink


    1. Francis, I agree.

      I just can’t get my head around the stupidity of a small number of Westerners who know full well the attitude of these countries to drug running.

      Yet somehow they get the idea that they will be either too smart to be caught, precious enough for their home government to bail them out, or that somehow the prosecuting government will passively let them play the ‘Westerner’ card.

      If the family can do anything worthwhile about this, it is to help make it clear to young Westerners that these governments are not for messing about.

      I guess now is not the time for a Darwin award nomination, but it is deserved.

      Posted by Flying Giraffe on 2005 12 01 at 06:08 PM • permalink


    1. Well, Sunrise this morning ‘showed’ the execution. It consisted of panning a camera over the people in the church that Van Nguyen and his family attended.

      They also got a psychologist in to explain how to deal with this situation. ie. hide it from pre-schoolers, and since you can’t hide it from the bigger kids, calm discussion and allow everyone to vent. People will want to vent about this.

      I feel for his mother – no parent should lose a child, whatever the cirucmstances, and while it’s a sad way for him to go, then the deterrent effect will hopefully mean his death wasn’t wasted like a poor decision ensured his life was.

      Posted by Nilknarf Arbed on 2005 12 01 at 06:44 PM • permalink


    1. You’ve obviously never met/lived with or had a heroin addict in your family have you?

      I have.  Not only was he an addict, he died of a heroin OD.  Much as I loved him, as Darlene points out, he was the one who chose to put a needle in his arm. That said, it was Nguyen Tuong Van who chose to run drugs in a country where that’s a capital offense.  Personal responsibility applies to him, as well.

      Posted by Achillea on 2005 12 01 at 06:55 PM • permalink


    1. Darlene Taylor
      Not to be picky but when you were young and dumb (everyone has been) didnt you do something you later thought was amazingly dumb.
      Young, blonde, pretty with someone older than you (the usual scenario)whos a daring “bad boy” saying he will look after you just try it.
      I knew the pusher and the girl. He was looking for a mark to sell her gash to keep them both in supply. He was nearly 30 and a street rat, she was 15 and had lived on a station most of her life. He ended up “trading” her to clear somr debts with a dealer he owed money to.
      Or the young man who was sodomised by 3 members of a certain motorcycle group in WA to “encourage” him to pay up.
      I have no real problem with proven drug providers execution.

      Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2005 12 01 at 06:58 PM • permalink


    1. I’m truly buggered if I can’t work out what all the fuss is about.The Singapore Government has hung 400 dedicated criminals since 1991.Big deal! The New South Wales Government has killed a hell of a lot more than that and they weren’t even criminals,just innocent patients who had fallen into the hands of our so-called Hospital system and were put to death as a result of criminal negligence.If you include the number killed by the Queensland Hospital system the Singapore effort looks positively pale by comparison.

      Posted by Lew on 2005 12 01 at 07:44 PM • permalink


    1. “After having walked eleven hours without having traced the print of human foot, to my great comfort and delight, I saw a man hanging upon a gibbet; my pleasure at the cheering prospect was inexpressible; for it convinced me that I was in a civilized country!”

      – Author unknown.

      Posted by walterplinge on 2005 12 01 at 08:06 PM • permalink


    1. A question for everyone…

      If you were sentenced to life imprisonment, with no possibility of parole, in an Asian prison (esp. Bali), would you not prefer to end it all sooner?

      I wonder if Nguyen’s sentence had been reduced, whether he’d walk back to his 2×4 cell for the rest of his life, thinking “thanks a bloody lot”…

      As for the ABC, the Prime Minister was in a no-win situation. Even if he had skipped the cricket match, they would have filmed footage of him smiling about something unrelated or eating a hamburger for lunch and then run with the headline – “PM eats fancy lunch while Nguyen hangs…Smiles from PM as Nguyen hangs” etc.

      Posted by Dan Lewis on 2005 12 01 at 08:10 PM • permalink


    1. I think a lot of the hysteria is another example of the Howard Haters picking up any stick to beat Howard with, without realising that they’re the ones who end up looking like idiots, as Matt Price showed in his article.

      Posted by jpaulg on 2005 12 01 at 08:30 PM • permalink


    1. Flying Giraffe—Hey, don’t be dissing Hollywood actors!  Why, many of them can memorize thirty or forty lines of dialogue in barely a week!

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 12 01 at 08:40 PM • permalink


    1. I’ve always liked the idea of an “Escape from New York” style island that nations can dump their crims on (yeah Australia, hehe). We won’t have to deal with the “playing God” dilemma and won’t have to pay for their upkeep as they rot away doing time for many years. Just need to monitor goings on in case they get creative and build boats or worse, and make sure naughty dicators aren’t using it as a recruitment ground. Three strikes and you’re out for the minor crimes and instant for ones that are worth 15+ now. Who knows they might even get civilised and live fairly decent lives for the most part.

      Posted by HC44 on 2005 12 01 at 09:00 PM • permalink


    1. In an earlier post I said that Nguyen’s corpse would be dragged around the streets by the delusional for years to come. I was speaking figuratively at the time but it appears that a note of reality has crept in as it seems that his body will be returned to Australia for public burial. What a joyous event that will be. I guess we can look forward to a good old fashioned West Bank funeral with the remains being paraded around the streets of Melbourne followed by the weepers and the wailers rending their clothes and slashing their arms (figuratively speaking of course). And all of this over criminal – a sleazy little heroin trafficker. What a pathetic, disgusting hypocrisy this affair has become!

      Posted by Boss Hog on 2005 12 01 at 09:07 PM • permalink


    1. Darlene Taylor –

      “I am not sure why the cricket match and the execution are being connected. There’s no connection. The Government have done all that can be done. “

      Its obvious why they are connected –

      Q. What’s the difference between Van Nguyen’s Mum and Ricky Ponting?

      A. Van Nguyen’s Mum will be returning home with the ashes…

      Now do you get it?

      Posted by Harry Buttle on 2005 12 01 at 11:00 PM • permalink


    1. #22: I’ve read Matt Price’s columns for years and never seen a far left agenda. Have I missed something big? Like he secretly thinks Bob Brown makes sense or believes Natasha Stott Despoja to be rational?

      His satirical columns seem to have that rare ability to take the piss out of all sides.

      I reckon you’d need to be way, way off on the right to see Price as a looney lefty.

      Posted by Henry boy on 2005 12 01 at 11:15 PM • permalink


    1. #22- Matt Price committed to the far left?  crash, from your perspective, everyone is far left!

      #43-  ”…the Prime Minister was in a no-win situation. Even if he had skipped the cricket match, they would have filmed footage of him smiling about something unrelated.”

      The Australian today did a similar job on the evil twin “laughing and joking…after his final meeting with Van.”

      Posted by slammer on 2005 12 01 at 11:23 PM • permalink


    1. #47 Boss Hog,
      Exactly. If the SMH’s large banner headline about ‘our van’ with flowers and a saintly photograph isnt enough to sicken you, the state funeral will.

      Posted by Nic on 2005 12 01 at 11:34 PM • permalink


    1. You guys have to be kidding me: the Sidney Morning Herald, a large daily newspaper in Sydney, has a banner with the words, “Our Van…?” Did I read that right? Seriously.

      Posted by ekw on 2005 12 02 at 12:03 AM • permalink


    1. Sorry, I meant banner HEADLINE. Banner headline. Not banner. Whew. Look like a right fool there.

      Posted by ekw on 2005 12 02 at 12:26 AM • permalink


    1. Darlene Taylor are right – drug users for the most part have only themselves to blame. Sure, there are cases of minors being coerced into using, but let’s not kid ourselves – the majority of drug users in this country are adults who have made stupid choices. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly social conservatives who in every other field promote personal responsibility (a position I have a lot of time for) will do an about-face the second drugs come into the picture. “Drugs” (like “terrorism”) have been so mythologised by our government and media that common sense goes out the window as soon as they’re mentioned!

      Posted by scuffs on 2005 12 02 at 12:42 AM • permalink


    1. #45 sure Rich.  I can just picture LdC memorising his lines:
      its the way of the future
      its the way of the future
      its the way of the future
      its the way of the future
      its the way of the future
      its the way of the future
      it’s the way of the..
      it’s the way of the..
      it’s the way of the way
      it’s the future of the way
      aw fuck it

      Posted by larrikin on 2005 12 02 at 01:10 AM • permalink


    1. Well, Singapore have again shown they are at least an efficient country.  A prisoner costs about A$100,000 a year to keep in comfortable board and lodging, with free education and entertainment, and an excellent health plan.
      Say 20 years? at least $3 million out of taxes with inflation.  Real life -say 60 years and $15 mill?

      Australia [who would probably adopt these costs] would do all this for the Van-type criminal, but for about 5 real years, and then let him go free.
      Some ‘punishment’.
      Did you hear Jeffrey Archer complain that he had to watch Lords’ cricket on colour TV instead of being at the ground? He also admitted his ‘nice rich gentleman’ image in prison was just a con based on self-preservation, not real decency.
      He also wrote MORE in there than outside, so MORE profitably.
      Nice one, Jeff, and nothing to pay back for the writers’ retreat..
      Nice one, ‘sensible justice’ UK-style.
      Whom the gods wish to destroy…

      Posted by Barrie on 2005 12 02 at 02:20 AM • permalink


    1. #54 scuffs, Conservatives don’t have an atomistic view of society like you do.  All these crippled adults have grieving and suffering families too, just like all the hopeless gamblers we encourage do.
      Get real, and try to imagine the real costs. China is STILL angry about the West’s Opium trade because it almost ruined its people.
      Or don’t you know about history, or learning from experience?

      Posted by Barrie on 2005 12 02 at 02:29 AM • permalink


    1. Harry, I get it, but even I wouldn’t have said it. Funny though.

      Have I ever done anything dumb? Yes, more times than I can mention. Certainly when I was young I did some things I regret enormously because it took me some time to get on the right track. Ultimately the buck stops with me and I had to change. As for drugs, I smoked pot once and discovered it had absolutely no impact. I didn’t even say, “hey man” or anything. “What a bummer, dude”.

      Our Van, is that like Our Nicole?

      Posted by Major Anya on 2005 12 02 at 02:31 AM • permalink


    1. Barrie, I understand the pain that drug addiction causes to the families of addicts. I have also watched friends ruin their lives through drug addiction. Hence my characterisation of addicts’ choices as “stupid”. The fact that junkies have made choices which harm their families, as well as themselves, does not mean that they are any less responsible for those choices.
      The comparison with China and the opium trade in the 19th century simply doesn’t stand up to scrutiny – this is not a case of one nation using drugs for gain over another nation. If you want to talk about the large-scale industry though, many have made the case that the big players in the drug industry are simply unaffected by the killing of lowly mules – there will always be people desperate enough to risk their lives for large sums of money!
      At the end of the day, I think the most reasoned response is the legalisation of drugs (and I say that knowing I will have blown whatever credibility I may have had with many people here). Without even going to that extreme though, the simple truth remains that after decades of fighting a “war on drugs” (WoD), the anti-drug side is no closer (and in fact probably further than ever) from winning. What endgame do WoD supporters realistically envisage? That people around the world will stop producing, transporting, and consuming drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and marijuana? If the WoD thus far has not achieved this, what more can possibly be done?

      Posted by scuffs on 2005 12 02 at 03:03 AM • permalink


    1. If the WoD thus far has not achieved this, what more can possibly be done?

      Tougher penalties, of course, Scuffs. Governments are obviously not sufficiently punishing people for the crime – the evil, evil crime – of consuming substances that governments don’t want them to consume.

      John Howard, if I recall correctly, was recently beating the drum about the inadequacy of penalties for smoking dope. He is so right! Why are those lazy police not investigating more dope offences rather than wasting their time on trivial crimes like murder and rape? Why are we not incarcerating more druggies? These questions need to be asked! [sarc off]

      Posted by Lionel Mandrake on 2005 12 02 at 04:41 AM • permalink


    1. scuffs
      With Australias welfare system do you think thats a realistic option? We have the worst system in the world for drug abusers, except for all the others which have been tried.
      The current regime of criminalisation stinks, I agree, but what is the alternative?
      its like saying tax evasion is too big a problem.
      How about this for a scheme. Coppers get 10% of any proceeds of crime confiscations as an end of year bonus.
      Mr big might seem worth a bit more effort then.

      Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2005 12 02 at 04:42 AM • permalink


    1. There’s nothing more dangerous than a stupid idea whose time to cause mayhem and misery has come.

      Alas, legalisation of drugs is shaping up to be such an idea.

      Posted by kipwatson on 2005 12 02 at 05:10 AM • permalink


    1. What is the matter with some of you people? A young man is dead. He was 22 when he committed this crime. He was very wrong, but whether he understood the ramifications for those who would be buying the product he was taking to AUSTRALIA is not clear. What is clear is that he did not deserve to die for this offence. To start with the harm he was going to cause was in AUSTRALIA, not Singapore. Not forgetting that it is not unreasonable to assume Singapore’s guilt in making money with the big men of drugs in Burma because Singapore has no problem with presumptions of guilt. Or is that just for non-Chinese persons.

      We live in a nation that was born of the transportation of the poor, and who were subjected to gross punishment for crimes that we now consider to be minor, if crimes at all. Indeed those dreadful poms of the past hung people for nothing offences, and we Australians sneer at them for it. But even as western societies debate whether drug use or sale should be a crime many of my fellows declare he deserved what he got. And how many of those voices I wonder would consider the Muslim treatment of alcohol as a crime unfair. And what do they say to themselves if 5 years from now we make heroin use a non-crime in Australia for example. All they can say is, it is not the immorality of the act that we object to it is the fact that there is a law that says one must die for this offence

      Again the Singapore response is that it is just business as usual. In that case why are they so secretive about their executions? Why do they hide how many they kill and who they are?  Could it be that foreigners and the poor make up the majority of their executions?

      And consider this, an argument for saving Nguyen Tuong Van made by others back in 2004

      “The twisted logic of Singapore’s judiciary is mind boggling. In a separate case, the death penalty was not imposed on soldiers who held a trainee’s head underwater resulting directly in the trainee’s death.”

      This is relevant because the death sentence is mandatory for murder as well, but is it only for drugs and arms offences that the presumption of guilt ensures the death of transgressors. Goodness me was it that the soldiers were Chinese?

      This nation is the biggest executioner in the world. Anyone that can’t see the racist aspect of their killings and that they hold us in absolute contempt (pious conversations with our PM while they send notices to a MUM saying we are going to kill him at this time).

      This is a RWDB complaining here. But how anybody with a child could not see this young man’s death as awful is beyond me. And I had no interest in a minute’s silence. Now though?

      He was 22, he was 22, he was 22, and he would have been killed even if his crime was 15 g of cannabis in his flatmate’s possession. That is right, these people hang you for having a key to a place where 15 g of cannabis is found.

      I found this interesting also.

      Shanmugam Murugesu will be hanged on 13 May 2005 at 6.00 am. The President of Singapore can call for the “Constitutional Court” of 3 judges to sit and study the unfair trial and unequal treatment suffered by Shanmugam. The execution will be stayed until the judges arrive at a conclusion.

      They did him in.

      And did our “friend” the President of Singapore do that on behalf of our PM and Foreign Minister. I would be interested to know.

      And again he was 22, and anyone who trots out the “he would have known the penalty and should have grasped the consequences” is an idiot or an appalling parent.

      Posted by Ros on 2005 12 02 at 05:22 AM • permalink


    1. #63, Ros,
      So where was the racism?

      Posted by Nic on 2005 12 02 at 05:56 AM • permalink


    1. Other than at the same time as Van was being sentenced to death Singaporean soldiers were being excused the mandatory death sentence and there was an actual corpse to demonstrate the harm they had done.

      Let’s consider this from Amnesty
      “Although the Singapore authorities have not published figures for the number of foreign nationals executed in recent years, the total percentage is believed to be very high. Out of 174 executions recorded by Amnesty International from press reports between 1993 and 2003, the number of foreign nationals totals 93, which is more than half. Many of them are believed to have been migrant workers. They have included nationals or citizens of the following: Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Ghana, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Portugal. According to one source who had been informed by the Ministry of Home Affairs, 44 foreign nationals were executed between 1996 and 2000, out of a total of 157 executions which took place during that period (see table on the previous page). “
      Or just read the report

      Or Singaporean bloggers who say such as this

      “tell him about the quotas on courses like Medicine and Law as well as give him a briefing on the prerequisites of Mandarin-speaking folk for plenty of jobs.”

      Then there is the more subtle suggestions , such as the large numbers of HIV positive foreigners (3000 since 1985) compared to Singaporeans (1200), and so on.

      Is it that you have difficulties with the notion that Chinese folk can be racist, or you are just looking for substantiation.

      Posted by Ros on 2005 12 02 at 07:02 AM • permalink


    1. Will the Singapore bashing heroes take this fight up to Iran? I think not. China? Not likely. Who will be targetted next in this relentless shaming campaign?
      Check this site with figures for various countries
      executions in 2004.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2005 12 02 at 07:27 AM • permalink


    1. Try this little execution aide memoire from Iran.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2005 12 02 at 07:33 AM • permalink


    1. And the ABC continues to run stories like the one today which had a local convert to islam (and a media savvy one, at that)wondering why Australians were afraid of them.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2005 12 02 at 07:39 AM • permalink


    1. This morning on the ABC’s Radio National’s Life Matters program, they claimed that the nation was “reeling” from Mr Junkie Supplier’s well-deserved execution. How did they know this? I certainly wasn’t reeling, that usually has to wait until Sunday morning. Then they actually had the nerve to give Mr Heroin Trafficker a minute’s silence (well, with saccharine musical accompaniment)! I couldn’t believe my ears. It’s something I’ve never heard them do for the countless innocent victims of Islamic terrorist atrocities, where they usually blame the victim or George Bush. It’s bad enough when I read it in the free press, but I’m paying for this garbage!

      Posted by Jim Geones on 2005 12 02 at 08:00 AM • permalink


    1. The moral of this story seems to be “stay the hell out of Singapore.” I follow this rule—easy for me since I have no money and my passport expired twenty years ago, hard luck I guess on people who have relatives there.

      To tell you the truth, I have very little sympathy for people who get involved in drug smuggling—leaving aside the people who start using drugs, which is a whole other rant. I was born and raised in Miami and lived there until about six years ago; I got to experience (from the sidelines) the fun of living in a community where drug-caused crime ran rampant. The least of the effects of all this was tv shows like Miami Vice… is execution too small a price to pay for inflicting the fashion of wearing suit coats with t-shirts on the world? Seriously, though, there is no reason for people to take up drug smuggling, at least not in prosperous countries like the US and Australia—no reason but greed, and an unwillingness to work one’s way patiently up the ladder to success via the many legal employment opportunities available. Maybe your hapless drug smuggler doesn’t deserve to be killed. Well, he gambled with his life, breaking the law in a country where the penalties for doing so are much harsher than elsewhere. He lost. Those are the sad facts of life.

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2005 12 02 at 08:30 AM • permalink


    1. blogstrop #67

      What words could do justice to what one feels after seeing those photos?

      If this is the will of Allah, God save us all.

      Posted by Inurbanus on 2005 12 02 at 09:32 AM • permalink


    1. How about this for a scheme. Coppers get 10% of any proceeds of crime confiscations as an end of year bonus.

      I don’t know what your local levels of police corruption are now, but I guaran-damn-tee ya that THIS scheme will quadruple it.

      Posted by Stoop Davy Dave on 2005 12 02 at 10:45 AM • permalink


    1. Stoop Davy Dave
      As opposed to drug dealers being able to pay a years salary to a copper to get off?
      Would be open to corruption but no more than the current system. Greedy bastards would find it worthwhile to do their jobs though.
      My point being more allong the lines of we spend $1,000,000 dollars and a team of 12 men on 60-80k a year up againsta individual who may be profiting that much a month.
      Proceeds of crime goes some way to taking the fun out of it for big dealers, but as long as they can threaten and pay 2 years wages, in cash, to a bent copper with no incentive he has the upper hand.

      Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2005 12 02 at 06:40 PM • permalink


    1. As opposed to drug dealers being able to pay a years salary to a copper to get off?

      Not only yes, but Hell Yes and Fuck Yes.  This kind of incentive corrupts entire police AND district attorney departments.  Got a nice boat, car, or real estate?  Confiscation is only one planted joint away.  And habeus corpus doesn’t apply to seized property.  That shabby shit was commonplace in this country, from about the mid-1980s until about the mid-1990s, under the old version of RICO.  It was very seriously Sherrif-of-Nottingham style “justice.”  If Henry Hyde only did ONE good thing in his life, it was helping to do away with this malignancy.

      Posted by Stoop Davy Dave on 2005 12 02 at 06:53 PM • permalink


    1. The Fairfax press and ABC have been giving themselves leave from muticultural blindness over the Nguyen case because they don’t like the PAP’s ‘family values’ authoritarianism and Singapore’s cosiness with the US.  Stretched necks in hostilely anti-colonialist kleptocracies aren’t noticed at all.

      Posted by Inurbanus on 2005 12 04 at 11:56 PM • permalink


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