Monday, April 4, 2011

A Tyburn Tree, in Singapore

Tyburn Tree used to stand where Marble Arch is today. It was where those convicted by the English Courts were hung. It used to be a great spectacle in Old London, and ten to fifty thousand would gather, to watch the executions. To add to the festivity of the occasion, the condemned were transported to Tyburn Tree in open carts, increasing the merriment of the crowd, as it gave them the opportunity to throw sticks and stones at the poor souls.

Of those hung, 90% were mostly poor young men below the age of 21. Once, it was a cartload of young girls, after some riots in London. They were merely bystanders at one of the fires started during the Gordon Riots, but a message had to be sent, and they were hung. Five of those hung were children below the age of fourteen. The gentleman in the white waistcoat was not joking, when he said of Oliver Twist, "That boy will be hung".

The last hanging at Tyburn Tree was in 1783. The next hanging in Singapore, will be soon. And it will be Yong Vui Kong, a latter-day Oliver Twist, fallen into the evil hand of some modern Fagin. His crime, is abject poverty, and desperation. His appeal, conducted by Mr.M.Ravi, has been rejected today. In keeping with the tradition of Tyburn Tree, he was poor, and under the age of 21, when he committed his alleged crime.

If there should be a noose around anybody's necks, it should be around the neck of Malaysia's politicians, who allowed to exist the abject poverty that drove Vui Kong to his crime, while conspicuosly enriching themselves. And Singapore has it's own version of Dickens's judgmental, uncaring, white-waistcoated fellow, in the form of it's Law Minister, Mr.K.Shanmugam, who too, as good as said, "That boy will be hung". Dickens did not mean that particular caricature, we would like like to point out to Mr.Shanmugam, to be of an exemplary nature.

England has abolished the death penalty and no longer practises such barbarisms, while Singapore, executes all too often. Singapore's Cabinet refuses to give Vui Kong quarter, though it is in their power to do so. Like the Judges who sentenced that cartload of young girls to death, after the Gordon Riots, they want to send a message. Why not put him in a cart, and parade him through Orchard Road, and Shenton Way? Would this not send their message louder?

The stone-hearted occupants of Singapore's cabinet will not want that. They prefer to do their killings in the still of early Singapore mornings, and with no watching crowds.

For they would like to pretend to be decent men, while carrying out, medieval, barbaric sentence.

No comments:

Post a Comment