Two popes, John Paul II and his successor Pope Benedict XVI, had appealed directly on his behalf. The PM of Australia and various cabinet ministers including the Opposition Leader have appealed as well. So has the United Nations. But alas, the Singapore government is going ahead with the execution of convicted drug smuggler, 25-year old Nguyen Van Tuong. Nguyen was caught with 398 gm of heroin while transiting Singapore.
In fact, his execution has been set for dawn on the 2nd of December. The 25-year old man has just 2 weeks’ of life left.
PM John Howard has been pissed off that his Singapore counterpart didn’t inform him on the decided date of execution when they met recently in Korea, other than to reject his personal appeal.
There has been tremendous domestic pressure on PM John Howard to make such a personal appeal, which he initially had refused to do. But Howard is a man very sensitive to the political mood of Australia, and sensing that the general Australian public wants him to make the appeal, has done so.
I have blogged previously that it would be completely out of character for the Singapore government to ever show any form of compassion. For an island nation where the most popular and revered deity is Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, Singapore’s sternness and non-compassionate character has been shaped by Kuan Yew, the God of No Mercy.