Death penalty an important part in drug war

Arguably, the rule of law is the democratic way to keep crimes at bay (Death penalty not a deterrent, by Dr V. Subramaniam, May 29).

While agreeing with the empirical evidence that "drug crimes continue to occur", the argument that capital punishment is vengeance rather than retribution and, therefore, it ought to give way to "civilised" methods - such as refinement, enlightenment - is unconvincing.

A mature person is expected to be criminally responsible and, hence, ought to know that drug pushing (or trafficking) is a crime, and that the punishment varies from country to country. In Singapore, persons older than 10 years of age are considered criminally responsible unless they are mentally handicapped.

Statistics reveal that last year in Singapore, there were about 2,000 repeat drug abusers and 1,400 new drug abusers. This is clear evidence that the lives of close to 3,500 would-be responsible citizens and their families are potentially ruined.

It is disheartening to come across children whose parents are under the influence of drugs.

Drug crimes are a social evil. It is admirable that the Government has been relentlessly waging war on drugs for a long time, and the death penalty has been an important part of it.

Arguably, Singapore is one of the safest countries in the world. Each criminal gets what he deserves for his crime, and each citizen gets to enjoy the privilege of walking freely around Singapore at any time without fearing for his safety.

Responsible parents would prefer to raise their children in a drug-free environment rather than a drug-tolerant one.

S. Ratnakumar

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 03, 2019, with the headline 'Death penalty an important part in drug war'. Print Edition | Subscribe