ambiguity

May 11, 2010

Against The “Trade-Off”

Filed under: Uncategorized — theinkhorn @ 11:06 am

“People assume you can have this safety and security without this framework of the law; that you can change it, and yet your safety and security will not be affected. But there are always trade-offs. The difficulty the Government has sometimes in explaining this is that the trade-offs are not apparent. The damage to a large number of others is not obvious.”

These, ladies and gentlemen, are the wise words of your Law and Second Home Affairs Minister, Mr. K Shanmugam. This is what he had to say in reply to a question regarding 21 yr old drug trafficker Yong Vui Kong, who currently awaits the verdict of his appeal against the mandatory death penalty, which will be delivered this friday. It seems rather odd though, that a mandatory sentence should be allowed an appeal.

A trade-off. The certain destruction of one life to prevent the potential decimation of 10, or 100, or 1000, or perhaps only 3. The definite and deliberate murder of one man, to ensure that the possible, because that’s all it is, the probable death of others doesn’t happen. Mr Shanmugam has effectively disguised the mandatory death penalty as a means of prevention, and has justified it by labeling the process a trade. Why don’t we start making people take care of our homes and families 24 hours a day, 6 days a week, pay them almost nothing but claim to offer them food and lodging? Hey wait a minute…

A 21 year old boy who possibly didn’t even realise what he was delivering, who hasn’t had a proper education, who’s never had the luxury of time or money, whose only concern was making a better living for his mother, a boy who’s never understood the privileged lives many of us lead is going to die, simply because we allow it. Simply because morons like Mr Shanmugam think that if people begin using, the fault surely has to fall on people like Yong. The mules. The supply lines. The exploited. We never think to fault the source because they’re too elusive, and we never think to fault ourselves because it’s always easier to be irresponsible and point fingers.

Come this friday, we either advance, or we stall. We either realise, or we ignore. I know which side of the war I’m on, and why. Do you?

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