Early tomorrow an Australian will be executed and, unsurprisingly, there has been a great deal of upset over Nguyen Tuong Van being hanged. The last person we hanged was Ronald Ryan back in 1967.
Now, like most Australians, I am opposed to the death penalty, but smuggling heroin through Singapore ranks as about one of the most stupid things you could possibly do because they are uncompromising hardarses and nothing escapes their notice. If you can't spit gum on the footpath without copping a hefty fine, what tolerance for a drug courier? There is no question in my mind that Nguyen would have been aware of this or, put it this way, if you haven't done a risk assessment of the countries you're travelling through, you have absolutely no business whatsoever trying to smuggle drugs through their customs.
Of course the noisy rightwingers will take me to task on this and point out that one has no business smuggling heroin whatever the risk, but that isn't my point. There are a whole range of countries that are more lax in their checking and/or more lenient if you do get caught. Singapore has a model that works very well for them; they're not going to change. Piss on the toilet seat there and you're asking for trouble. So isn't this just the Darwin Awards with an official spin?