Singapore says most drug traffickers Malaysians, will not go easy on them

World | 24 May 2019 3:43 pm

It is “not tenable” for Singapore to go easy on Malaysian drug offenders who are caught on the Singapore side of the causeway, the island's Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam, said today.

Speaking at the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) Workplan seminar, he noted the case of Pannir Selvam Pranthaman, the Malaysian who was granted a stay of execution yesterday by the Court of Appeal, saying he was accorded full due process at every stage.

The 31-year-old was convicted of trafficking 51.84g of heroin at Woodlands Checkpoint in September 2014.

"You bring in 51, 52 grams of pure heroin, it is equal to over 4,000 straws of heroin, and [it] feeds hundreds for a week. A person like that is a dealer in death, no two ways about it,” Shanmugam said, but did not go into specific details as the case is before the courts.

He pointed out that a majority of Singaporeans supported a tough anti-drug stance, including the use of the death penalty against drug traffickers.

Last week, the results of a study by the Ministry of Home Affairs showed 69.6 per cent of Singaporeans polled indicated that the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for criminals who traffic a large amount of drugs.

"It is not tenable to give a special moratorium to Malaysians, and impose it on everyone else, including Singaporeans who commit offences which carry the death penalty," Shanmugam said. 

The minister added that nearly 30 percent of drug traffickers caught in Singapore last year were Malaysians and nearly 30 percent of the heroin found, by weight, was brought in by Malaysians. One in five of the heroin traffickers who brought in amounts that attracted the death penalty were Malaysians too, he said.

"How do we go easy on Malaysians in the face of these stats? And if we did, what will it mean for the rule of law? It will become a joke if there is a request made and we go easy. That is not the way Singapore works," he said.- Channel News Asia

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