A ‘drug-free’ Singapore or an over-oppressive one?

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K Shanmugam at the UN taking a stance of non-softening amid calls to steer anti-drug efforts in a more human rights and healing-focused direction.

So Shanmugam argues for a ‘drug-free Singapore’ at the UN, and insists on keeping Singapore’s anti-human rights laws and measures towards drugs.

A drug-free society is one that every nation wants. Just like how we all want a healthy society, one that has no vice, no porn, no cigarettes. But how we do that, is a different thing.

If one really wants to be so ‘clean’ and to enforce it in a totalitarian way, why not go to North Korea? Where even music is controlled so your ears will not be disturbed by metal or rock?

You see, in a democratic society, we are supposed to work our way to goodness and morality via a free medium and soft education, not by oppression and suppression. No one wants society infested with drugs, but people who love people want pitiful drug offenders healed, not punished; saved, not killed. Now that is the difference between the human rights point of view, and LKY’s point of view.

Besides, you can rattle on about your ‘success’ in dealing with drugs. And scare us about SG turning into a drug hub once we ‘soften’ our approach.

But let’s look at the facts. 80% of our prisoners are jailed because of drug offences! Does that ring a bell? You call that success?

And who are the majority of the drug offenders caught? Definitely not the rich and well-to-do, but the sidelined communities, the stressed-out ones, the poorer Malays, Indians, Ah bengs, Ah lians.

How are we stopping our society from becoming increasingly stressed out, when we do nothing when we see our school children packed with school work and CCA all day, more of them cutting themselves, more youngsters smoking, drinking and losing their virginity, more people losing jobs to cheap foreigners?

Do we want a ‘drug-free Singapore’ for the rich and wealthy and punishment for the poor, or a ‘soft society’ that cares and heals, and tackles problems at the root?

Albert Tay