Tan Chin Aik’s rebuttal to Law Minister K. Shanmugam that the Government should go after drug barons instead of punishing at times clueless drug traffickers:
While the death penalty is applied rightly to crimes such as murder and kidnapping, it is applied with strict liability on drug trafficking, and often, against drug addicts who are themselves victims of the drug barons.It is certainly difficult to get the drug barons. But they are also the ones breathing easier when drug traffickers get the death sentence as ‘their mouths are sealed’ upon their execution.While I do not argue against the tough stance of a death sentence, to have it as a mandatory sentence against a strict liability offence can be most unwise.Some of the offenders’ culpabilities may not be such as to deserve a death penalty, and some of the less culpable ones deserve to have their lives spared and be rehabilitated. They could even possibly rat on the drug lords.
Now, if only K. Shanmugam can see this issue the way Mr Tan sees it.