The Aussie support for Nguyen Tuong Van may have come too late.
But then the 25-year old convicted man, sentenced to the gallows, and his appealers have to contend with the non-negotiable and non-compromising stand of a stern and unmoved Singapore government, who rejects all pleadings for the life of a young man. To the Singapore authorities, the rehabilitation of young Nguyen has to be conducted in the ‘other’ world..
In Singapore’s death row there had been even nobility from one about to die. One of Nguyen’s fellow death row inmates, Shanmugam Murugesu, who was hung in May for possession of cannabis, had before his execution requested his lawyer, human rights lawyer M. Ravi, to save Nguyen’s life.
Ravi recollected what Shanmugam appealed of him:
"Before he died, Shanmugam made a personal appeal to me to save Nguyen Tuong Van's life at all costs. He called him the small boy, said he didn't know how they were going to crush this simple soul."
Shanmugam’s compassion for someone about to be executed like he was about to be, surely must stand out as one final redeeming act that hopefully would tilt the kammic forces to his favour in his after-life.
The Singaporean High Commission is in PR damage control in Canberra, but whilst Aussie support has finally emerged for Nguyen’s case, it has not been on the scale as that for Schapelle Corby.
Meanwhile the Australian Labour Party received a bollocking from some of its old timers about remaining silent on an Aussie receiving the death sentence in a foreign nation. The Labour Party seems to have forgotten one of its principal values, not to condone and to speak out against the barbarism of a person, especially an Aussie, being sent to the gallows.
(1) A Sad Tale of 2 Aussie Drug Smugglers
(2) Why I am Against the Death Penalty!
(3) Stupid if He's Smart, Smart if He's Stupid!