Death penalty for drug traffickers "effective deterrent": Shanmugam

Death penalty for drug traffickers "effective deterrent": Shanmugam
Minister K Shanmugam delivering remarks at the High-Level Side Event at the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

The death penalty debate should focus on victims of the drug trade as one of the discussion points, instead of generalised statements and ideology.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law K Shanmugam made these sharp remarks at the United Nations General Assembly meeting on capital punishment on Thursday, and called for "a more careful assessment of the facts and the different situations in different countries".

Emphasising that while "no civilised society can glorify in the taking of life", the Minister said that countries must question if it is legitimate to have the death penalty so as to protect society and people from becoming victims.

"Globally, drug use kills between 100,000-250,000 people, mostly young people.

"Singapore is probably either the only country, or one of the few countries in the world, which has successfully fought this drug problem," Minister Shanmugam said.

"If you look at major cities in developed countries, you will find entire neighbourhoods that have been destroyed by drugs and drug-related activities, including theft.

"Entire lives and generations, destroyed. Young people born in such slums have no access to education and the drug culture completely prevents them from having meaningful human existence.

Minister Shanmugam added that the death penalty has been an effective deterrent in Singapore because it is coupled with incorruptible enforcement and the rule of law.

"We do not have slums, ghettoes, no-go zones for the police, or syringes in our playgrounds.

"You can send your 10-year old child on public transport at any time of the day and night and not have to worry whether your child will return."

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