Drugs and human rights

So our Law Minister Shanmugam shared that viral photo of a US couple overdosing while they were with a young child in a car. It was a shocking image. He said such scenarios prove drugs are harmful, and Singapore’s tough approach to drugs is justified. Yet there are “people around the world, lobbying for drugs on the basis that it is part of ‘human rights’.”

Shockingly, there are actually parliamentarians who say “drug users have a human right to feed their habit”! (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/11810347/Taking-drugs-is-a-human-right-say-MPs-and-peers.html) The same people say heroin and cocaine should be decriminalised, and cannabis should be sold openly.

When sharing this post, local activist Kirsten Han seems to be advocating similar policies. She wants “to move away from criminalisation, harsh punishment, and, in Singapore’s context, the death penalty”. She called Portugal’s decriminalisation of drugs “interesting”.

Interesting indeed. After Portugal decriminalised drugs, reported lifetime use of “all illicit drugs” increased from 7.8% to 12%.(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_policy_of_Portugal#Observations) In Singapore, we only have statistics of the drug abusers caught. In 2015, this was 3,343 people- less than 0.001% of the population. Although the numbers are not directly comparable, they certainly don’t suggest 12% or even 1.2% of Singaporeans on drugs!

What’s more, through a combination of tough laws and rehabilitation, Singapore’s number has halved since the 1990s, and recidivism rates (proportion of abusers who are arrested for drugs again) have also halved from over 60% to 30%. Why then should we learn from Portugal or other places that decriminalise drugs?

The Western media will tell you Portugal has less people dying from drug use and more people seeking treatment now. But that’s against a backdrop of already widespread drug use. Decriminalisation might (and that’s a big “might”) have helped them get from “terrible” to merely “bad”. But why should Singapore risk going from “good” to “bad”, or given all the drugs in our region, even “terrible”?

Just for “human rights”? Because people like Kirsten Han want to abolish the death penalty, even for brutal murderers like Kho Jabing? Even if a survey indicated that 95% of Singaporeans support the death penalty? Even if studies suggest the death penalty deters crime? (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/11/AR2007061100406.html)

Drug addicts don’t just hurt themselves. They hurt the people around them like in that viral photo. Many commit heinous crimes to feed the habit. They could get other people on the habit. I don’t see why we should risk the rights of our own people, to protect a few criminals who have committed serious crimes.

Kirsten belongs to these typical Western human rights mouthpieces who can’t think for themselves. Everything about the West is great. Without even thinking for the victims and the families of the abused, murdered, raped. They think murderers, drug lords are reasonable people they can sit down and have tea with. Whatever happens to our rights to have safe streets for our women and children?

We must not allow these irresponsible liberals to seize the agenda and bring our painstakingly built society onto the path of irreversible catastrophe. Aren’t these the same lot of people who go Hong Lim Park to protest against foreigners and then go hook up with foreigners to badmouth against us? The same people who would not be embarrassed to get grants from foreign governments to study even though they themselves are foreigners there. How ironic.