S’pore gives British drug trafficker 24 strokes caning & 20 years jail, British people support it

Do the crime, do the time.

Sulaiman Daud | January 14, 02:48 am


Singapore’s tough laws for drug offences have come under the international spotlight once more.

Ye Ming Yuen, 29, a London-born British citizen, was sentenced to 20 years in prison after being arrested in August 2016 for seven drug-related offences.

According to British media Daily Mail, these included two counts of repeat drug trafficking — one of 69g and another of 60g of cannabis.

Another offence of trafficking 15g of crystal meth was also taken into account.

Sentence is “barbaric”

Ye was known in the Singapore music scene as a resident DJ at Zouk Singapore who went by DJ MinG.

His Instagram account has been shared online with news reports of his imprisonment.

In addition to his prison sentence, Ye was also sentenced to 24 strokes of the cane.

His family, who lives in the UK, called the sentence “barbaric” and a “form of torture”.

His sister, who was quoted by the Daily Mail, described how the guards at Changi Prison allegedly knocked on his cell door to administer the caning punishment in December 2018.

Ye allegedly exclaimed that it was “against his human rights”, which prompted them to turn away.

These statements appear to not have been verified by Daily Mail with the Singapore authorities.

The sister even claimed: “The authorities do not give advance warning of caning which is mentally torturous. It could happen any day.”

Issue raised by the UK government

Ye has allegedly submitted a written appeal, in which he pleaded for a reduced sentence of eight-and-a-half years, and 15 strokes of the cane instead.

Among the mitigating factors he pleaded was being “misled” in his youth, and “surrounded” by drugs.

He also said that if the sentence was reduced, it would allow him to remain “useful” to society.

A spokesperson for the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed that Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt had raised the case with Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan during his visit on Jan. 4 and 5.

The spokesperson said: “Our consular staff have been assisting a British man and his family since his arrest in Singapore in 2016. We strongly oppose the use of corporal punishment, such as caning, in all cases.”

UK people in agreement

Despite this, a number of British people have spoken up to say that they agreed with the sentencing.

Some said that Ye should have been aware of the punishment for drug offences and not committed the crimes in the first place.

Screen shot from the Daily Mail website.
Screen shot from the Daily Mail website.

Others even wondered if similar laws could be implemented in the UK.

Screen shot from the Daily Mail website.
Screen shot from the Daily Mail website.

The Daily Mail‘s post on Facebook elicited reactions along similar lines.

Screen shot from the Daily Mail’s Facebook page.
Screen shot from the Daily Mail’s Facebook page.

The Daily Mail also quoted a spokesperson from the Singapore High Commission in the UK, who said, “Singapore deals with the drug problem comprehensively with the strictest enforcement coupled with the severest of penalties to protect the welfare of the public and our collective aspiration to live and raise our children in a safe oasis.”

Related story:

President Trump inspired by S’pore, wants to introduce death penalty for drug crimes

In 1994, US media hammered S’pore to dissuade Michael Fay caning

Top image adapted from @ming_sg, the Daily Mail website


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About Sulaiman Daud

Sulaiman believes that we can be heroes, if just for one day. His favourite Doctor is Peter Capaldi's Twelve and his favourite person is Jürgen Klopp. He also writes about film and pop-culture, which you are very welcome to read here.

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