Domestic political pressure has been increasing tremendously on the Aussie government as the execution date for Nguyen Van Tuong draws ever nearer. Though PM John Howard has mentioned that he or his government have run out of options to save Nguyen, the public is not satisfied.
Howard has repetitively indicated he doesn’t want to damage the excellent relationship between the two governments, particularly when there are hugh trade deals including rumours of a SIA-Qantas merger talks coming about. He has ruled out suggestion such as trade sanction, which in only a bilateral dimension is in reality ineffective and not practical at all.
But Singapore’s opposition leader, Dr Chee, has added to the fuel blazing in Aussie hearts by accusing the Howard government of not doing enough, and by being relatively passive, has encouraged the Singapore government in its obdurate stand. In an interview earlier with Aussie TV, Dr Chee brought out Singapore’s double standard in its insistence on executing a nobody for drug trafficking while it pampers to the drug barons in Myanmar.
See my earlier posting Hypocrisy of Singapore in Nguyen's Execution
There has been a flurry of activity these last few days as the Howard government goes into damage control. Legal experts including university law professors have been co-opted to provide advice on whether Australia could exploit existing international treaties between the 2 countries to put a stay on the execution.
But quite frankly, I reckon nothing will come out of it. It’s more of an exercise for domestic consumption as the Aussie government realises that it is being seen as cold hearted for putting economic interests above the live of one of its citizens, even one convicted of drug trafficking.