Thursday, June 30, 2005

Conspiracy Theory 1: Execution

Breaking news, at least for me.

Amnesty International exposed today the shockingly high, hidden toll of executions in Singapore as it launched a new report about the death penalty in that country.

Singapore is believed to have the highest per capita rate of executions the world. A UN Report found that Singapore had three times the number of executions, relative to the size of its population, as the next country on the list - Saudi Arabia.

"It is high time for the government to seriously reconsider its stance claiming that the death penalty is not a human rights issue," Amnesty International said. "It is the cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state in the name of justice, and violates one of the most fundamental of all human rights: the right to life. By imposing death sentences and carrying out high numbers of executions, Singapore is going against global trends towards abolition of death penalty."

The small city-state has hanged more than 400 prisoners in the last 13 years. Official information about the use of the death penalty is shrouded in secrecy and the government does not normally publish statistics about death sentences or executions. It is not known how many prisoners are currently on death row, but the deplorable death toll from executions continues.

Amnesty International's new report "Singapore: The death penalty: A hidden toll of executions"examines how the death penalty often falls disproportionately and arbitrarily on the most marginalized or vulnerable members of society. Many of those executed have been migrant workers, drug addicts, the impoverished or those lacking in education. The report includes a number of illustrative cases including Rozman Jusoh, a 24 year old labourer from Malaysia executed in 1996 despite having sub-normal intelligence with a reported IQ of 74.

Drug addicts are particularly vulnerable. Many were hanged after being found in possession of relatively small quantities of drugs. Singapore's Misuse of Drugs Act contains several clauses which conflict with the universally guaranteed right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and provides for a mandatory death sentence for at least 20 different drug-related offences. For instance, any person found in possession of the key to anything containing controlled drugs is presumed guilty of possessing those drugs and, if the amount exceeds a specified amount, faces a mandatory death penalty for "trafficking".

"Such provisions erode the right to a fair trial and increase the risk of executing the innocent," Amnesty International stressed. "Moreover, it is often the drug addicts or minor drug pushers who are hanged, while those who mastermind the crime of trafficking evade arrest and punishment."

Despite claims by the government that the death penalty has been effective in combatting the trade in illicit drugs, drug abuse continues to be a problem particularly among socially marginalized young people. Observers have drawn attention to the need to combat the social conditions which can give rise to drug abuse and addiction, rather than resorting to executions as a solution."

We call on the Government of Singapore to impose an immediate moratorium on executions and commute all pending death sentences to prison terms," Amnesty International said. "We are also calling on the authorities to end the secrecy about the use of the death penalty and encourage public debate."


According to the UN Secretary-General's quinquennial report on capital punishment (UN document: E/CN.15/2001/10, para. 68), for the period 1994 to 1999 Singapore had a rate of 13.57 executions per one million population, representing by far the highest rate of executions in the world. This is followed by Saudi Arabia (4.65), Belarus (3.20), Sierra Leone (2.84), Kyrgyzstan (2.80), Jordan (2.12) and China (2.01). The largest overall number of executions for the same period took place in China, followed in descending order by the Islamic Republic of Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United States of America, Nigeria and Singapore.

Read more.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Food Review 1: Opening

Singapore is a well-known 'food paradise'. I have been trying hard to find out how true is this. Obviously my views deviates slightly from the state's ideality. Sometimes I wonder why places like Seoul Garden have not ceased to exist and what is the great deal about overrated Sushi chain eateries. Upon this food review, I shall gather my experience of gluttoning in tiny Singapore, with my slightly biased views.

One of the challenge faced, is to have an objective mind while experiencing food. Especially in extreme conditons- in hunger or filled-up, in poverty or in health, in sickness or in health, till death do us part.

Food gives life, so do you live for food or food for life?
Indeed food for life:

Staff of restaurant blocked evacuating customers
Friday • June 24, 2005

I REFER to the small fire that broke out at Plaza Singapura on Tuesday night. While it was rather scary being at the scene, I thought the building's staff and management reacted quickly and professionally.However, I'd like to draw attention to a dangerous and irresponsible act by one tenant.A friend and I were having dinner at the Swensen's restaurant when the fire broke out.Our dinner had only just been served and we had barely started eating, but it was smoking and there were requests on the public address system for everyone to leave immediately.So, the customers in Swensen's got up to evacuate the site.At this point, the staff of Swensen's blocked the way and insisted we pay before leaving.This meant that around 30 people had to wait in line to pay, when the building had already been evacuated and smoke was filling the restaurant!The manager told us they were given 15 minutes to collect payment before allowing us to leave.The 15 minutes could easily have cost lives. What if something had exploded? Or if children had passed out from smoke inhalation?I am disgusted at this ridiculous prioritising of money over life. I hope something can be done to prevent such irresponsible acts from occurring again.

Letter from NICHOLAS TAN WEN-YU ST Forum

Swensens anyone? Perharps the next time you visit Swensens and got choked by their tender beef, you are sure that they will make you foot the bill before the Swensens manager allow you to board the ambulance. Till then, bornapplet.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


Ribbons cut.
*claps claps*

A blogger with slightly biased mind, providing an objective view around him. Living in tiny Singapore, yet mind is based elsewhere, 'bornapplet' derives its origin from 'bon appetit' which is obviously not Singapore, while the blog focuses mainly on tiny Singapore.

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