November 30, 2005

You are on the invidual archive page of Hangman. Click Simon World weblog for the main page.

Friday sees the hanging of Australian Nguyen Tuong Van and while I oppose the death penalty I also recognise that Singaporean law is clear on the matter and much gnashing of teeth isn't going to matter one jot, just as unfurling a "Democracy Now" banner in the heart of Beijing isn't going to win you any fans. Amongst the media hue and cry is the self-sustaining spotlight on Singapore's hangman, Darshan Singh. Originally thought to be fired, it turns out he's still on for the job and considers himself the best man for the job (sub req'd):

Mr Singh, 74, has boasted: "With me, they don't struggle. I know the real way. If it's a raw guy [hangman], they will struggle like chickens, like fish out of the water."...Mr Singh has issued a series of contradictory statements in recent days, reportedly claiming he was sacked, then warning no one else in Singapore was trained to do the job - and the results would be ugly if a novice was employed.
But I'm here to help. Coming soon, Singapore's newest reality TV show....


posted by Simon on 11.30.05 at 03:09 PM in the Singapore category.


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I agree with you that the law is as it is in Singapore and you would know that on the plane but with one caveat (when looking at the larger picture). There is a distinct double standard when the Singaporeans happily hang a mule, who is usually recruited because they are in a desperate state, and then at the same time the Singapore government uses its citizens tax dollars to help prop up one of the regimes that leads the way in drug production - Burma - through investment.

posted by: Phil on 11.30.05 at 08:10 PM [permalink]

Just let him die. Really. If we really believe that basic human rights are so important, stripping him of these rights for the rest of his life ought to be a more inhumane torture than just taking away his life.

posted by: spacehunt on 12.01.05 at 01:10 AM [permalink]

Phil, I agree on the double standard. But even if it's only mules getting caught and punished, thems the rules.

That said, they should let the poor b@st@rd's Mum give him a hug.

posted by: Simon on 12.01.05 at 08:17 AM [permalink]

Mr. Singh's comments reveal how every culture, in my opinion, has its fantasies about punishment and power domination. The fact that people even want to know about this from his perspective is a sign both of the normal curiousity that inflames us all, but also of the need for socities to legitimize that certain members of their community keep the rest of society in control.

Sick, if you ask me.

posted by: doug on 12.01.05 at 09:24 AM [permalink]

One could try unfurling a banner saying "Democracy Now" in Singapore (if it only had a heart) as well. Result would be the same I think.

Vale, Nguyen Tuong Van.


posted by: expat@large on 12.01.05 at 02:17 PM [permalink]

posted by: gunlaw on 12.01.05 at 03:05 PM [permalink]

So sad... another life will be terminated prematurely tomorrow at 6 am.

posted by: GhOsT on 12.01.05 at 09:20 PM [permalink]

Mr. Nguyen did not commit murder, instead he should have been granted clemency. The Singapore Govenment is too harsh. They could have used this life to do some work.

I am totally disgusted with Mr. Singhs job. He has tarnished the rest of the Singhs around the World with his job. (Singhs believe in a religion call the Sikhs) we are very respectable people and do not preach on Barbaric, brutal, cruel and degrading and inhuman acts.
We believe in honest living. By hanging some one for a living is not honest living. He seems to make his (victims) the prisioners suffer this is clear as he meantions to the media that they "run like chickens and are like fish out of water". Obviously he finds it fun to see them suffer.

Either he is not a singh, or is giving the rest of the World a bad impressions about Singhs.

He owes an apology to the rest of the Sikhs "Singh" for degrading our name.

We singhs in the rest of the World preach on equality, brotherhood, justice and truth.

posted by: Amy on 12.08.05 at 05:18 AM [permalink]

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