Yet Another Hanging – Singapore to hang ‘One Eyed Dragon’ for nightclub murder

The Death Penalty in action again. Can’t imagine this case resulting in mass protest against it.

End the Death Penalty Now!

Web posted at: 5/23/2007 8:30:19
Source ::: AFP

medium_tanchorjin.jpg
Tan Chor Jin, nicknamed “One Eyed Dragon”, arriving at the magistrate’s court in Singapore for his trial last February. He was sentenced to death, yesterday, for killing a nightclub owner in a rare gangland-style shooting in Singapore. (AFP)

SINGAPORE • A man nicknamed “One Eyed Dragon” was sentenced yesterday to hang for killing a nightclub owner in a rare Singapore shooting which the judge likened to an assassination.

Tan Chor Jin, 39, appeared calm and smiled occasionally while the verdict was read.

He was convicted for the murder in February last year of Lim Hock Soon in a case that shocked Singapore, one of Asia’s safest cities.

High Court Judge Tay Yong Kwang said the killing had “the hallmarks of an assured and accomplished assassin.”

Court documents showed Tan, who earned his nickname for being blind in one eye, entered Lim’s flat on February 15 last year.

He tied up Lim’s wife, 13-year-old daughter and domestic helper, looted the family’s valuables and then fired a series of shots into the victim’s face and body.

He fled to Malaysia but was arrested and extradited 10 days later.

Tan represented himself without a lawyer at the trial. After the sentence was handed down, Tan’s only response was to ask the judge for permission to smoke in prison while awaiting his fate.

“They don’t understand what are human rights in the prison, nor allow us to smoke,” Tan said.

read more…

Illegal drugs can be harmless, report says

How do you scare a ‘drug dealer’?

Thought the following study might have some relevance to a country that hangs drug traffickers. My own personal views aside the least it can do is start a debate about the taboo topic of ‘drug-taking’. I once brought the topic of the legalisation of drugs as a policy in Singapore during a conversation, those present shall of course remain anonymous to protect the guilty, but those who argued most vehemently against such a proposal where those who had the greatest insider knowledge and investment in ‘the business’ – I am not refering to pharmacists.

Threaten to legalise drugs.

Press Association
Thursday March 8, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

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An RSA report out today says drugs can be harmless and recommends introduction of drug injecting rooms. Photograph: PA.

Illegal drugs can be “harmless” and should no longer be “demonised”, a wide-ranging two-year study concluded today.

The report said Britain’s drug laws were “not fit for purpose” and should be torn up in favour of a system which recognised that drinking and smoking could cause more harm.

The RSA Commission on Illegal Drugs ,set up in January 2005, also called for the main focus of drugs education to be shifted from secondary to primary schools and recommended the introduction of so-called “shooting galleries” – rooms where users can inject drugs.

The report, compiled by a panel of academics, politicians, drugs workers, journalists and a senior police officer, also called for the Home Office to be stripped of its lead role in drugs policy.

It recommended the Misuse of Drugs Act be scrapped in favour of a wider-ranging Misuse of Substances Act, and the current ABC classification system be abandoned in favour of an “index of harms”.
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Current laws, the panel claimed, were been “driven by moral panic” with large amounts of money wasted on “futile” efforts to stop supply rather than going after the criminal networks behind the drugs on British streets.

At the heart of the report was a call for an end to what the panel called the “criminal justice bias” of current policy in favour of an approach that would treat addiction as a health and social problem rather than simply a cause of crime.

to continue reading

Singapore’s Death Penalty and Blog Posts

Below is written by me for me. Comment if you like.

I am concerned with using technology or software to understand the discourse of the Singapore blogosphere.

I am very much aware of the limitations of using technorati to monitor topics online, and I am faced with the issue of which terms/words to search for, Singapore, Death Penalty, Singapore Death Penalty, can merely give an indication of the number of blog posts referring to the terms that I have decided to isolate. ‘Penalty’ could of course refer to football. There are other terms and words as well as events that may have increased the use of these terms by Singaporean bloggers but have nothing to do with the Singapore geographic context. One example is the recent Saddam hanging.

So what can I claim, I think I can claim that the graphs show 1,600 in December to just over 200 on Jan 29th posts on the global blogosphere mentioning the term death penalty, pro or against cannot be ascertained. While during the same period around 25 posts containing Singapore and the death penalty occurred. Again pro or against is not discernible. For the same 30 day period 1,200 to 1,600 posts contained ‘Singapore’ in the item. But am I able to assert that 1,200 blogger wrote about Singapore and 25 wrote about the death penalty, I think that is an inference too far, if simply based on using a technorati search engine.

Posts that contain Singapore per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart

Posts that contain Death Penalty per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart

Posts that contain Singapore, Death Penalty per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart

So are the Singapore aggregator blogs simply showing a ‘truer’ picture of the Singapore blogosphere’s dscourse? Or are all Singapore bloggers uninterested in the death penalty. Recent posts have indicated that there are bloggers prepared to air their views on the death penalty both pro and against. Maybe posts about the death penalty are just in the minority and reflecting the local dis-interest or possibly global dis-interest.

These graphs are very limited in terms of looking at the linguistics and the social and political concerns of the bloggers but they do raise some interesting debates. For the same 30 day period ‘The Straits Times’ appeared in blog posts between 50 and 100 times (approx.). Possibly the writers are attacking and undermining reporters errors, maybe the are linking to snippets of articles or the forum pages. I have no idea.

Posts that contain Straits Times per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart

The international press picked up on a story that they feel has a global relevance, global being the operative word.

What I am concerned with, as well as Tochi and Malachy’s hanging, is what I experience on a daily basis of reading Singapore aggregators and Singapore blogs is that there is almost zero and I mean zero concern with issues on a global scale.

Is the Singapore blogosphere isolated from the wider global blogophere?

Related Links
Singapore Blogosphere – No Topic
Mapping the Blogosphere By Elia Diodati
Data Mining: Text Mining, Visualization and Social Media

Another way to search for trends is via blogpulse.

Singapore and Death Penalty is the just visible green line at the bottom

The Latest from My sketchbook

Very happy to say that Sketchtbook has got back to work after a rather long hiatus.

EXECUTION OF CONVICTED DRUG TRAFFICKERS

Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi (Tochi), a 21-year old Nigerian was charged for importing into Singapore a controlled drug under section 7 of The Misuse of Drugs Act (Chapter 185). Okeke Nelson Malachy (Malachy), aged 35, stateless, was charged for having abetted the commission of the offence of importing into Singapore a controlled drug under section 7 read with section 12 of the Misuse of Drugs Act (Chapter 185). The Misuse of Drugs Act provides that the death penalty is mandatory if the amount of diamorphine or pure heroin imported exceeds 15g. Tochi had unlawfully brought into Singapore 727.02g of high grade pure heroin worth about $1.5 million.

The appeals of both Tochi and Malachy to the Court of Appeal and to the President for clemency have been turned down. Their sentences were carried out this morning at Changi Prison.

Central Narcotics Bureau
26 January 2007
Last updated on 26-Jan-2007

‘Integrity’ I am going to have go and get my dictionary out and look that word up. Someone must have recently changed its meaning because I see no ‘integrity’ in hanging one man who, as the judge confirmed, had no idea what he was carrying and secretly executing another man without informing anyone.

Singapore Blog Aggregators

A front for the Peoples Action Party?

While the world reacts to the hanging of two men in Singapore, it would appear, if you look at the aggregators, that few in the Singapore blogosphere have even noticed. Below is a small selection from 123 members of the international media…

Singapore executes Africans for drugs
Irish Times, Ireland – 1 hour ago
Singapore executed two African men for drug trafficking today despite pleas for clemency by Nigeria’s president, the United Nations and human rights groups. …

Singapore hangs drug smugglers
TVNZ, New Zealand – 2 hours ago
Singapore hanged two African men on Friday for drug smuggling after the city-state’s prime minister rejected international clemency pleas, saying its tough …

Singapore executes drug smugglers
BBC News, UK – 2 hours ago
Singapore has executed two African men for drug smuggling after rejecting appeals for clemency by Nigeria’s president, the UN and rights groups. …

Singapore executes 2 despite international appeals
Globe and Mail, Canada – 3 hours ago
AP. SINGAPORE — Singapore executed two Africans on drug trafficking charges Friday despite pleas for clemency by Nigeria’s president, the United Nations and …

Clemency calls fall on deaf ears
Independent Online, South Africa – 4 hours ago
BY Ruth Youngblood, DPA. Two Africans convicted of drug trafficking were hanged before dawn at a Singapore prison on Friday while human rights activists …

Singapore hangs Nigerian drug smuggler
Reuters South Africa, South Africa – 5 hours ago
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore hanged a 21-year-old Nigerian man for drug smuggling on Friday, despite pleas from the Nigerian president, …

Singapore Executes 2 Africans For Drugs
Guardian Unlimited, UK – 8 hours ago
From AP. SINGAPORE (AP) – Singapore executed two Africans on drug trafficking charges Friday despite pleas for clemency by Nigeria’s president, …

Singapore hangs Nigerian drug smuggler
Sydney Morning Herald, Australia – 9 hours ago
Singapore hanged a 21-year-old Nigerian man for drug smuggling, despite pleas from the Nigerian president, the United Nations and international human rights …

While the major Singapore blog aggregators such as Tomorrow.sg on January 26, 2007 is more concerned with…
Why you should watch Crazy Horse Paris before they finally leave Singapore

or the Intelligent Singaporean

Daily Reads Jan 26
Posted by inspir3d on January 26th, 2007

If I Am Not Sick, Why Do I Need Medicine?
from Wanderings, Musings and Happenings from Ian on S

Adventures of Elite Girl ep0025
Why is marriage a criterion for maternity leave?
from Coffee and Cigarettes.

Speech at Parliament Sitting on 22 Jan – Dr Fatimah…
from P65 Blog

Singapore Feels Heat On Economic Agenda
from SingaporeSurf

Old rules apply in cyberspace
from Singabloodypore

Aggregators of the Singapore blogosphere that have a human deciding on which blog posts to highlight are either extremely pro-death penalty or pro-PAP. While they continue to follow the editorial briefing of the Straits Times they are as good as working for the state controlled media.

Prove me wrong.

Singapore executes 2 Africans on drug charges despite international clemency appeals

SingaBLOODYpore.

Why didn’t we know about Okeke Nelson Malachy, 35?

The Death Penalty in Singapore is still clouded in secrecy…

The Associated PressPublished: January 25, 2007

SINGAPORE: Singapore executed two Africans on drug trafficking charges Friday despite pleas for clemency by Nigeria’s president, the United Nations and human rights groups.

Nigerian Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi, 21, was hanged at dawn in the city-state after being convicted of trafficking 727 grams (26 ounces) of heroin — nearly 50 times the 15 grams (0.53 ounces) of the drug that draws a mandatory death penalty in Singapore, the Central Narcotics Bureau said in a statement.

A stateless African named Okeke Nelson Malachy, 35, who was convicted as the person to whom Iwuchukwu was supposed to deliver the drugs, was also executed Friday, the statement said.

About a dozen activists held an overnight vigil outside maximum-security Changi Prison, where the execution was carried out. Just before the hanging, they stood or sat with their heads bowed, holding roses in the flickering glow of candles on the ground around photos of Iwuchukwu and a red-and-white soccer jersey said to belong to him.

Prominent Singapore-based art critic Lee Weng Choy, 43, said he disagreed with Singapore’s mandatory death sentence regulation, which he said takes away the discretionary power of the judiciary.

“I also disagree with its justification as a deterrent. The reality is that drug trafficking has not been reduced to zero, neither has drug use,” he said at the vigil.

The execution was carried out despite an appeal by Nigerian President Olesegun Obasanjo, who asked Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong earlier this week to commute the death sentence.

Lee replied Thursday that Iwuchukwu had committed a serious offense under Singapore law and had exhausted all legal options.

“We did not take the decision lightly,” Lee wrote in a letter. “I realize that Mr. Tochi’s family will find Singapore’s position difficult to accept, but we have a duty to safeguard the interests of Singaporeans, and protect the many lives that would otherwise be ruined by the drug syndicates.”

Singapore’s strict drug laws made international headlines — and triggered an outcry in Australia — in December 2005 when the city-state executed a 25-year-old Australian heroin trafficker despite numerous appeals from the Canberra government.

Singapore has said its tough penalties for drug trafficking are an effective deterrent against a crime that ruins lives, and that foreigners and Singaporeans must be treated alike.

Human rights group Amnesty International says Singapore has the world’s highest per capita execution rate. Last week it urged its members to push Singapore’s government to grant Iwuchukwu clemency and for a moratorium on all executions in the country.

The United Nations also urged Singapore on Thursday not to execute Iwuchukwu because it would violate international legal standards on the use of the death penalty.

“The standard accepted by the international community is that capital punishment may be imposed only when the guilt of the person charged is based upon clear and convincing evidence leaving no room for an alternative explanation of the facts,” said a statement by Philip Alston, the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

Iwuchukwu, a footballer, was arrested in November 2004 at Singapore’s Changi Airport after arriving from Dubai with 100 capsules containing heroin that authorities estimated to be worth 1.5 million Singapore dollars (US$970,000; €795,930).

At the time of his arrest, Iwuchukwu told narcotics officers the pills were African herbs that he was supposed to give to a sick friend. He also told officers that he came to try out for soccer teams playing in the Singapore League.

Iwuchukwu’s family, who live in Nigeria, could not afford to travel to Singapore to see him while he was on death row, said Princewill Akpakpan, a lawyer with the Civil Liberties Organization, Nigeria’s largest human rights group.

“The execution will place Singapore in a negative spotlight among civilized nations of the world,” Akpakpan said by telephone on Thursday.

I am so angry I have decided to remain silent…