Penalties must be effective and dissuasive
The minister was asked about the Singapore government’s approach to those who oppose the death penalty.
He said any penalty can be justified only if it is reasonably explained.
“We don’t impose punishment, especially the death penalty, because we want to be tough. This is not a question of being tough for the sake of being tough,” he added.
“The penalty has to be effective, it has to be a deterrent. That’s what I mean by effective.”
He said people know Singapore’s laws, so he doesn’t do drug trafficking.
“Some people decide to risk their lives and take risks because they want to make a few extra bucks. But most don’t,” he added.
He said it was his duty to continue to persuade Singaporeans that the death penalty would act as a serious deterrent and save thousands of lives.
According to a 2021 survey by the government, 7 out of 10 people supported mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking and nearly 80% supported mandatory death penalty for murder, Shanmugam said.
“Why do they support it? Over 80% believe the death penalty deterred these crimes in Singapore. 20-30% disagree. % disagree, the data speaks for itself,” he added.
A government survey of areas where people may be trafficking drugs into Singapore also found that a “virtual majority” (over 60% of people, including those in southern Malaysia) found the death penalty to be a highly effective deterrent. He said it shows what he says is power. Shanmugam.
“How is Singapore’s reputation damaged? So there are people who are ideologically against it. Care must be taken to distinguish between the few Western correspondents,” he added.
“And the majority view of Singapore, and the majority view of Singapore, is a well-governed, well-run, well-managed country where people are free to roam and do what they want.”
Shanmugam also addressed criticism that the investigation was not independent.
“Some people question the results if they don’t like them,” he said.
“Let’s be clear: drugs are evil and drugs destroy more lives. There is,” he added.
“And this survey – I don’t design the survey or look at the questions. No. I’m sure it was done professionally.”