Sad as it may be, there is no doubt in my mind that at dawn on 02 December 2005, Nguyen will be executed by hanging. His family, including his twin brother for whom Nguyen claimed needed the earnings from the trafficking assignment to settle debts, have flown to Singapore to be with him in his final days, but not at the final moment.
The farewell message of the Singapore Hangman will be the last words he will hear before he, as promised by the hangman, 'goes to a better place than this one.'
Aussie PM John Howard has put in his personal appeal to Singapore PM Lee. Howard grumbled a bit about Lee's failure to inform him that the execution date had been decided when the personal appeal was made. But I think that's that.
Howard has demonstrated his 'concerns' for Nguyen's draconian fate, but will not sour relationship with an important ally and trading partner over a drug trafficker. In fact, in Nguyen's case, Howard has already gone beyond what he would do under similar circumstances for another Aussie.
Even the raging froth demonstrated by Aussie public for Shapelle Corby's case when she was arrested by Indonesian police didn't persuade Howard to appeal to the Indonesian President, well, at least he didn't publicly. What Howard did in that case was to make available an 'open cheque' for Corby's defence.
Two Popes had appealed to Singapore for clemency to be shown in Nguyen's fate. The UN has voiced its concerns. Aussie Foreign Minister Downer promises to keep trying but he doesn't hold up any hope, given Singapore's refusal to concede to any compassionate leeway.
Though the Australian Opposition, Labour and the Democrats have suggested protests and boycotts, I don't believe those are realistic proposals. Howard is the PM and unlikely to resort to such acrimonious confrontations.
There is a last resort proposal to take the issue to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), but such an application requires the agreement of both parties, meaning the Singapore government must accept the move. Aussie Foreign minister said it's unlikely Singapore would accede to any arbitration by the ICJ. I reckon so, especially in a case where Singapore is determined to prove it can't be shaken by appeals or pleas for compassion.
The Aussie public is certainly appalled by the heinous punishment of so young a man, and for what social benefit to Singapore society? But they are hardly likely to sway the Sinagpore government into clemency for Nguyen. I am afraid that in real life, the compassionate 'cavalry' won't arrive just in time. Unlike movies or TV shows, there won't be a last minute phone call from the Singapore President to stop the hangman from pulling the lever.
10 days remain for Nguyen till dawn on the 02nd of December. Time pass very swiftly.