Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Ahmad Saidin, 57, faces mandatory death sentence for 1.6kg of cannabis in Malaysia

The Star in Malaysia reports that Ahmad Saidin, a 57 year old carpenter, has been found guilty of having 1.6kg of cannabis and has therefore been given the mandatory sentence of death under Malaysian law.

His defence counsel is appealing against the High Court decision. In general, there is a two year gap between the passing of a death sentence and the execution of the condemned. Some appeals processes have exceeded ten years. This means there is up to two years to bring so much international pressure to bear on Malaysia that it backs away from the action

Malaysia has executed 358 prisoners by hanging in the past 24 years mostly for drug-trafficking. During a recent debate in the Malaysian parliament (April 05) on how to handle drug addicts there was a suggestion that addicts should be supplied with drugs by the government and exiled to a remote island.

The case of Ahmad Saidin is just the latest in a long line of tragic cannabis executions in several parts of the world especially China, Singapore and Malaysia. Amnesty International has pointed out that the people who are caught and hanged are usually the poor in society. Meanwhile the big dealers enjoy the liberal banking laws.

Recently there was the case of Shanmugam s/o Murugesu in Singapore who was hung for just over a kilo of cannabis on May 15 2005. But while users and small time dealers are executed on a regular basis in this corrupt nation ruled by criminals, major drug barons dealing in heroin continue to operate untouched, and make an significant contribution to Singaporean state coffers.

One such druglord is Lo Hsing-han, a Burmese heroin producer who has massive business interests in Singapore with the full support of the government that executes people for cannabis.

Meanwhile Malaysia's hangmen and floggers are celebrating they have been granted a pay rise. Hangmen will get a 60% rise. For every hanging they will now be paid 500 ringgit ($131) instead of the current 300 ringgit. For every swing of the cane, floggers will now get $3.30 - up from $1.10.

Above: The surreal mural wall of Pudu Prison, Kuala Lumpur from the website of international anti death sentence campaigning organisation Save A Life.

SOMETHING MUST BE DONE. Boycott Singapore and Malaysia. Any ideas? Watch this space.


At 10:09 am, Blogger thecoolestblog said...

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