Singapore residents support capital punishment for some crimes, says minister
According to media sources, Singapore has some of the toughest drug laws in the world as the most effective deterrent against crime, with more than 50 people currently on death row.
The majority of Singapore residents still support the death penalty to prevent serious crimes, even though it is considered a harsher punishment in some of the more liberal countries around the world. Singapore’s strict law provides for the death penalty on drug traffickers.
But the city state’s home affairs minister K. “The majority of Singaporeans support the use of the death penalty and agree that the death penalty prevents serious crime,” Shanmugam told parliament on March 3. He cited preliminary findings from a survey conducted last year.
Speaking during the Home Ministry’s Supply Committee debate, in response to a question whether Singaporeans continue to support its use, he cited data from survey reports.
“On the question of whether the compulsory death penalty is appropriate, 81% said it was appropriate for intentional homicide, 71% said it was appropriate for firearms crimes, 66% said it was appropriate for drug trafficking. was suitable for
“And more than 80% also believed that the death penalty prevented the commission of these crimes in Singapore,” Channel News Asia quoted Shanmugam as saying.
While the findings of this survey are still preliminary, Shanmugam said, they were given with “a reasonable degree of confidence.” He said that once the survey is finalized, it will also be made public.
Shanmugam said a survey conducted by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in 2019 showed “very strong” support for the death penalty.
But Singapore’s youth support for the death penalty for drug traffickers was lower than the national average in that survey. The MHA also launched a separate study in 2021 on people from areas from where most of Singapore’s arrested drug traffickers originated in recent years. According to the channel report, Shanmugam did not specify which areas these are.
“We wanted to know what people in these places knew and thought,” he said.
The study found that while 82% of respondents believed that the death penalty deterred people from committing serious crimes in Singapore, 69% believed that the death penalty would help discourage people from committing serious crimes compared to life imprisonment. is more effective, and 83% believed that the death penalty deters people from committing serious crimes. People do not want to smuggle drugs into Singapore in large quantities because of the death penalty.
“Let me emphasize this: these are the places from where many of our smugglers have come,” the minister said. “You remove the death penalty, that number, 83%, will definitely come down because there is money to be made.
“It is a fair assumption to say that more people will smuggle drugs into Singapore, more drugs will enter Singapore, there will be more drug abusers in Singapore, and more Singaporean families and individuals will be harmed… this is an important option for Singaporeans. Is.” The minister said that he has also directed to make this study public in such a way that public and foreign policy interests of Singapore are not adversely affected.
Shanmugam, citing a 2018 MHA study, said that he found a high level of awareness of the death penalty among convicted drug traffickers, and that it affects their drug trafficking behaviour.
“One of the traffickers in this study said the following: He knew very clearly that if he was caught for smuggling a small sum of money, he would go to jail for smuggling. But if he was caught with a large sum of money, If he goes, he will face death penalty,” Shanmugam said.
“And so he smuggled in less than the permissible limit.” The minister then reiterated how those places where drugs have been decriminalized or taken a softer stance on them, highlighting data and video from US cities such as Baltimore and San Francisco, have been leading to a drug spiral there. show the status.
Looking at those accounts, he said some would argue that Singapore should keep its strict drug laws but remove the death penalty. “My response is this – first, I gave you the results of the survey removing the death penalty and what psychological impact it will have.”
“Second, we have never said that the death penalty alone is enough. Although it is an important part of our system and approach to combating drug trafficking. You have to do many different things to keep Singapore relatively drug-free. is required.” These measures include good intelligence, strong enforcement, stringent punishment, rehabilitation for criminals and avoidance of capital punishment, he said.
“So I am saying to the members: Before we remove or soften any part of this structure, we have to think very carefully about it,” Shanmugam was quoted as saying by the channel.
“Those who recommend removal often compare us to countries that have already lost the drug war. And I’m not sure they understand the consequences, or don’t want to understand them. Because the consequences are for everyone. Clear,” Chanel had said as a minister in the House.
According to media sources, Singapore has some of the toughest drug laws in the world as the most effective deterrent against crime, with more than 50 people currently on death row. Many appeals from prisoners sentenced to death have been converted into prison sentences.