The Straits Times
Published on Nov 12, 2012

MPs question criteria for drug mules to escape gallows


Members of Parliament questioned a new requirement for drug couriers to "substantively" assist the Central Narcotics Bureau before they can be spared the mandatory death penalty, as they debated amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Act in Parliament on Monday.

Some like Mr Edwin Tong (Moulmein-Kallang GRC) questioned if the threshold is being set too high, as it might penalise low-level offenders who may not have detailed information on the kingpins and inner workings of drug syndicates.

Ms Sylvia Lim (Aljunied GRC) proposed that the law require full cooperation from couriers, without the additional requirement of substantial assistance that leads to the disruption of drug trafficking activities. This was because such operations may fail due to outdated information or law enforcement failures, she said.

However, the MPs disagreed on whether the proposed amendments were going too far. Some like Mr Alvin Yeo (Chua Chu Kang GRC) were worried that the changes may send a signal that Singapore is loosening its tough stance on drugs.