A NUMBER of Hong Kong residents have been executed at Changi Prison in Singapore; others await execution.
This should arouse protests from people in Hong Kong and elsewhere in the world.
Although all the victims are criminals convicted of drug-trafficking, the Singapore Government should review its policy of a mandatory death sentence for all drug-traffickers.
Each case should be considered on its own merits.
Although drug smuggling should be regarded as a heinous crime requiring harsh punishment anywhere in the world, respect for human life should also be given due consideration.
The Singapore administration should think twice before it decides to take away the life of a young person who has made a mistake, no matter how grave that mistake may have been.
Moreover, statistics have shown that the executions have no deterrent effect on the rising incidence of drug abuse in Singapore.
Although there should be severe punishment for crimes such as drug-trafficking, I hope, in future, mitigating circumstances will be taken into consideration by Singapore's courts, such as the situation whereby callow young women from Hong Kong have been coerced into carrying heroin, transiting through Singapore.
Executing the underlings has no deterrent effect on the kingpins behind the trafficking business, and does not help to promote the image of Singapore as a major player in the international scene.
We have just enjoyed a season of love, family reunion and forgiveness.
While we look back to Christmas and forward to Chinese New Year, our hearts should be with those unfortunate souls who have lost their lives in Changi Prison and with their families. And we must all hope that the Singapore Government will show more sympathy and compassion toward drug offenders and demonstrate more respect for human lives.
It may be resolved to stop drug trafficking. However, this should be achieved without sacrificing young lives unnecessarily.
Y. K. LEUNG Kowloon