Nguyen execution date set as 2 Dec

POPE John Paul II and his successor Pope Benedict XVI both made direct but unsuccessful appeals to Singapore to spare the life of convicted Australian drug courier Nguyen Tuong Van. Who ever thought Singapore would listen to the Pope. Singapore's Prime Minister didn't listen to Howard either as it would appear that when Howard raised the issue the Singaporeans had already classed the decision as irreversible. Later, Loong proves he understands diplomatic protocol but not compassion
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has apologised to Prime Minister John Howard for not personally informing him of the date for an Australian man's execution in Singapore. And the Singapore government has revealed that the letter it sent to Nguyen Tuong Van's family, informing them of his December 2 execution date, had been delivered a day earlier than planned. An investigation will be held into how this happened.
Altogether a sad case. I have no time at all for drug trafficking but the death penalty is far to severe and as the Singaporeans say, it is irreversible. In a year or two when Singapore commutes death to life for such crimes it will be to late for Nguyen. Big price to pay for a stupid mistake.


  • John from Newcastle

    STUPID MISTAKE, Give us a break, Van knew what he was doing just as all the other Asian Australians
    do , as they pollute our country with drugs.
    We allow these people into our country and they repay us by providing Heroin to our kids and sending
    the crime rate into orbit. Hanging is too good for this slime and all his mates.

  • Other than capital punishment I agree. I just think he should spend the life sentence in goal.

  • I am more a RWDB than the average pillager from Genghis Khan’s horde, but I can’t come to grips with the death penalty.

    Maybe I’ve seen too much death that seemed like a good idea at the time but comes back to haunt us forever.

    I have no sympathy for this bloke, he should pay for his crime by being locked up for a very long time, but I keep hearing the echoes of other “executions” being carried in that same jail 60 years ago. Then the crime was being Australian and being captured by the Japs.

    This is very wrong and reflects no credit on the Singaporeans.

  • In response to “John from Newcastle”, you are nothing but a shameless racist. What gives you
    to insult asian australians? People like you & your family have polluted Australia way before
    asians came in. Remember Australia doesn’t belong to your kind, it belonged to the aboriginals. You’re
    probably an obese alcoholic who does takes out welfare payments from centerlink every fortnight.
    Go share your racist comments with Pauline Hanson or some rednecks. Australia is ashamed of you.

  • I am a mother. I am ashamed to live in a world capable of torture and cruelty. It is not difficult to practice compassion. I pray for Ngyen and his grieving family. I pray for Singapore’s prime-minister and the many who believe they can judge the deeds of others and condemn them to death. Ngyen will return again and again until we ALL get it. There is no other pain like the pain of a mother losing her child. Whether it is losing a child to social failings or to the corrupt and ignorant behaviour of others…the child…the living breathing soul which she has nurtured with her unconditional love, has gone. There is no pain to compare with this. For this reason alone, I pray that humans start to see that compassion is the only weapon we need.

  • I agree the punishment far outweighs the crime. Though I’m from Singapore,
    I, along with many other Singaporeans are opposing the execution. I,
    personally have written and signed petitions for clemency for Nguyen Tuong Van.
    There are over 2000 signatures so far, and the numbers are increasing by the

    Ordinary Singaporeans are rallying alongside with the Australian, against
    the government. As long as there’s still a glimpse of hope, we won’t stop

    Let’s pray that God will bring out the compassion within members of the government
    and rid the world of this inhumane act.

  • Like most Europeans I only feel disgust for countries pretending justice but killing people.

  • Capital punishment is a sure sign that a barbaric monster lies hidden in a country – despite its so-called clean exterior and chewing-gum free status.

    The culture of death reigns supreme when capital punishment is seen as the only solution to the evil of drug abuse and trafficking.

  • I find it hard to believe John from Newcastle thinks his argument is fair when clearly he is ignorant about both the country he ‘owns’ and about Nguyen’s crime. Surely more people are responsible for the traficking of drugs than just those who smuggle them in, for whatever reason? The children who might buy heroin are not the responsilbility of someone who tries to help his brother when in need, but of everyone because people (including John from Newcastle) are letting this happen. Though I’m unhappy that Nguyen committed this crime and that others are too, I’m more apalled by the ignorance and sheer racism of certain people, especially when they use it as an argument for putting someone to death.

  • Annaki,

    I’m a father and feel for you and for Nguyen’s mother – all parents will but I suggest you need to harden yourself as being ashamed at the realities of life will forever leave you drained. There are plenty of positives about the human race but they don’t necessarily make good news copy so don’t always feature. State execution is abound throughout the world – The US still do it and China knocks of about 3,000 a year but if we dwell too long on other’s misfortunes we have less energy to to look after our own.

    The point with Nguyen is he an Aussie and not just another unpronouncable name on a list.

    Tragic, but we have to move on and hope some potential drug carriers wll be warned off getting involved in moving drugs through SE Asia.

  • Dear Pq,

    Where did you see “many deaths”?

  • Matt from California, USA

    I’m Vietnamese American. In fact, my last name is also Nguyen. I was
    I was deeply saddened when I learned of Tuong Van’s sad situation.
    Hearing the description of his death by hanging today, I
    suddenly feel proud of him for his bravery. He accepted his
    hanging calmly and with dignity. For a 25 year old, he
    showed a great deal of wisdom. I would like to offer my
    condolences to Tuong Van’s mom, brother, and relatives. They
    should be comforted that he can no longer suffer as we do in the
    living world. We all make mistakes. Being able to face our
    mistakes and its consequences with calmness and dignity is
    very commendable. It is not a bad way to go.

  • Matt from California Your compassion lifts the tone of comments on this post. Drug runner or not he didn’t deserve to die in such an obscene manner.


  • I am a Vietnamese, the same age Tuong Van. I have been in Australia for 15 years.
    This country has been very good to me, and I feel in debt of the Australian society.
    The life I would never have if I were still in my poverty stricken home.
    My mother is a friend of Nguyen’s mother. I am the same age as Nguyen. We both feel a great
    Sadness for the lost of a young life. But I hold no sympathy.
    To quote his defence team on the eve of his execution “he is reformed, and focused on what he
    was doing, and now theyre going to kill him”.
    Not a tragedy at all. But simply a statistic. Van knew what he was doing, he knew the risks.
    He tried to cheat life and in the end lost.

  • Matt from California, USA


    You are closer to the situation than I am but from what I’ve
    read it was Van’s first trip out of the country and he did not
    have prior offenses. He knew exactly what he was doing just
    as any misguided individual could be said to have known exactly
    what they were doing.

    You have your reasons for saying what you said and I can respect

  • Just wanna say that differences in opinions will definitely be abound,
    which also indirectly means that there will be differences in the
    justice systems around the world. It is international law for
    criminals to be dealt with in accordance to the laws in place
    for which country the crime was committed.