ST Nov 17, 2007"You are so intolerant!" Mr Menon cries out to 99 countries in the world. "Why won't you let me kill people just the way I please." No doubt Mr Menon would think that I am sanctimonious, hypocritical and intolerant too. After all, I am against the death penalty.
UN resolution calls for capital punishment to be suspended
Singapore leads the charge against non-binding resolution that polarises members
UNITED NATIONS - A UNITED Nations General Assembly committee has passed a resolution calling for a moratorium on executions with the ultimate goal of abolishing the practice.
The non-binding resolution was given the green light on Thursday after two days of fractious and often bad-tempered debate - with Italy leading the anti-execution camp and Singapore heading the charge for the other side.
The draft proposal was introduced by 87 countries, including 27 European Union (EU) states.
In the end, 99 countries voted for a suspension of capital punishment worldwide, 52 voted against and 33 abstained.
In arguing against the resolution, Singapore said capital punishment is a criminal law issue which should be left to countries to decide.
Singapore's permanent representative to the UN, Mr Vanu Gopala Menon, said ahead of the vote that the EU co-sponsors were trying 'to impose a particular set of beliefs on everyone else'.
'How else can this behaviour be described other than as sanctimonious, hypocritical and intolerant,' he said.
There are so many worthy causes in the world that Singapore could potentially champion. Singapore could, for example, use the United Nations to lobby for more coordinated international action to deal with global warming - this is very relevant for us, since rising sea levels pose a threat especially to small island states.
Instead we go to the United Nations, and we forcefully devote our energies into arguing for our sovereign right to kill people. How shameful - and stupid.