Drug traffickers deserve no sympathy

Drug traffickers deserve no sympathy
Andrew Chan (L) and Myuran Sukumaran (R).

I have been following with interest the case of the Bali Nine and reflecting on the responses of the various parties, as well as thinking what would have happened if this case were in Singapore ("Indonesia executes 8 drug traffickers"; yesterday).

Drug trafficking is a global problem. Based on a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, worldwide heroin consumption alone is estimated at 340 tonnes.

The harmful effects of drugs are well known; they affect not only the individual, but also his family and society. Drug trafficking is also closely associated with organised crime and money laundering.

Yet, whenever a trafficker is caught, the world's attention seems to turn to how inhumane it is to execute the offender. Governments and interest groups will apply pressure and prevent the authorities from exercising their rights to carry out the law of the land.

No one is interested to discuss how many addicts could have been killed by drug overdose, how many families destroyed by it, or how many people forced into poverty, crime and prostitution because of it. No one is spared the effects.

Drug trafficking is a billion-dollar business and drug traffickers deserve no sympathy.

Governments should spend their resources on helping to eliminate the trafficking problem or, at least, educating their people that if they are caught, they are on their own.

I am grateful that Singapore has some of the toughest anti- drug laws in the world and that capital punishment remains firmly in place for drug offences

This article was first published on April 30, 2015.
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