The Online Citizen

How about a Yellow Noose Project?

How about a Yellow Noose Project?
September 04
12:57 2010

- By Gangasudhan -

We have heard so much about the Yellow Ribbon Project – how it has roped in a multitude of supporters and businesses to help ex-offenders reintegrate into society. While it is a laudable initiative with many grateful beneficiaries, one might wonder why there is no complementary Yellow Noose Project. Perhaps it is due to the fact that those sent to the gallows do not need to be rehabilitated? But isn’t that in direct contradiction to the Rehab, Renew, Restart motto championed by the Singapore Prison Service? Especially for those who are first time offenders but find themselves on the ‘technical hit list’ – drug traffickers who pay the ultimate price for a momentary lapse of judgement.

So why not have a Yellow Noose Project (YNP) that administers compassion much like how the Yellow Ribbon Project does for ex-offenders? The YNP could begin with the President showing clemency to young offenders or to those whose cases have even the slightest mitigating factor. These almost-hanged ex-offenders can then embrace a second chance in life – and it may even be a case of life-altering change as the experience might be akin to a near-death occurrence.

In fact, the chances of re-offending for a first-time drug trafficker is (very) much more unlikely than a petty thief. But in today’s system, the trafficker is given no chance at all whilst the thief may be given one in spite of all evidence suggesting that he will strike again.

The YNP does not need to be any less stringent. By all means, we can let the case be analysed every which way before allowing clemency to be exercised and we can even put the convict through (metaphorical) hell if need be. But the rationale should be to let as many convicts as possible be pardoned at the end of the day – it is actually not a bad thing to be seen as compassionate (contrary to what the Uniquely Singapore model may have you believe).

This is one way to get around the hardline reputation that Singapore has – and, quite frankly, one that our government wants desperately to maintain. The signs proclaiming DEATH BE UNTO YOU do not need to be changed; the official stance of zero tolerance does not need to be rescinded. Instead, it is simply a case of using the existing processes in place to incorporate compassion into the system – something very doable if the government only wishes to.

Of course, from an economic standpoint it is admittedly a costly affair. A convict who serves a prison sentence will eventually have to be released back into society so it is in the government’s interest to ensure that he or she does not return to crime. And the contrary is true for those sent to the gallows – the sooner the convict is hanged, the lesser the overall cost to the state.

But life cannot be justified using economics so the Uniquely Singapore model simply has to change when it comes to killing people. Perhaps, in the grand scheme of things, the quality of life can be traded for economic well-being and wealth, but certainly not its existence. And with today’s modern Singaporean valuing the sanctity of life over materialism, it might be the best time as ever for the government to initiate the Yellow Noose Project and win over (some of) the electorate.


  • Yellow Lighting

    What about a yellow lighting project, to spare the ‘opposition’ any more harassment for being in the ‘opposition’. Strike once enough, don’t have to keep striking the same person again and again and again.

  • prp

    It is a convincing argument.

  • Peter Sellers

    Great idea, I thought, until I came to the last sentence!

    The government initiate a YRP? Does a thief catch a thief?

    Yes, it is a great idea and it would be perfect for the citizens themselves to do it. Here are two examples of movements that succeeded against great odds over long periods of time and against stiff resistance:

    In Nazi germany, Freemasons kept their movement going for 15 long year by wearing blue forget-me-not pins in their coat lapels. They kept in touch with each other by this method and were successful in reviving their movement after the war.

    In the 1950s, Hungarians also wore a lapel pin to voice their silent opposition to the ruling regime. See

    Have things in Singapore come to such a pass that it needs the government to organize everything, even protests against itself? Yes, its a good idea but let us do it ourselves. Lets buy yellow ribbons as a token of our opposition to the death penalty, distribute them to friends and family and wear them on ourselves. Let the movement grow.

  • LordRobert

    Give life A second Chance.Must start with the people,and all here in Singapore no matter who. Get the movement registered and than let it flow.
    Peace N Love

  • sinkie

    So you readily admit that such a scheme will have higher costs for the taxpayer, but how does it benefit us? Singaporeans are a pragmatic lot. You’d have to use facts and figures, not fluff.

    Btw, committing a serious crime is not a “momentary lapse of judgement”. It’s a calculated gamble with one’s life to earn big profits. I don’t see why they should not pay up when their gamble fails.

    You people need to stop making excuses for drug mules, that really detracts from the any moral high ground your campaign claims. Next you’d be fighting for the complete abolition of the DP and calling murder a momentary lapse of judgement too!

  • lobo76

    and it may even be a case of life-altering change as the experience might be akin to a near-death occurrence.

    let as many convicts as possible be pardoned at the end of the day

    The two points in the article are ‘nearly’ mutually exclusive (at some point in time in the future), so I am not who exactly the author is thinking about.

    i.e The ‘best’ case for him seem to be that all death row prisoners (with the slightest mitigating factors, e.g poor?) will be let off. But if ALL (poor pple) are let off, is it still a near-death occurrence? If it is not a near-death occurrence, then it is not life altering. Given that life altering experience is most likely to keep the person on the straight and narrow, without it… (some) may regress and do their crime (which is pretty serious) again.

    back to square one liaoz?

  • Pingback: Daily SG: 6 Sep 2010 « The Singapore Daily

  • Si Bei Jia Lat

    ….don’t make me laugh! did govt hire ex-offenders to work at public sector ?

  • Terracotta

    Sinkie writes:
    “Btw, committing a serious crime is not a “momentary lapse of judgement”. It’s a calculated gamble with one’s life to earn big profits. I don’t see why they should not pay up when their gamble fails.”

    - there is no world wide consensus on the definition of ‘serious crime’. In parts of Afghanistan, adultery is serious enough to have you stoned to death, especially if you are a woman. In most other countries, being caught with 15g of heroin or morphine would be considered a mid-level crime, & carry jail time, not the DP. We in Sg have been conditioned from young to view the magic number of 15g as a SERIOUS CRIME.

    - The ones who earn ‘big profits’ are not the mules… they are usually desperate people who will do it for a few thousand dollars. The ones who make the ‘big profits’ are usually the ones safely out of the reach of the CNB.. and who will quite easily recruit ANOTHER desperate mule for a few thousand $.

    - YVK was 19 when he was caught… I wonder if Sinkie could safely say he/she was mature enuf at that similar age, to not have made ANY lapse of judgment.

  • http://- orang Singapura

    I am sorry to say this but you are all pissing inthe wind if you think this government is about to change their attitude about hanging.
    Until the MAN goes to the happy hunting ground..and a new breed of Singaporeans with voice come forward..then there will be change. And oh yes, when the yellow gutless editors of ST get pensioned off..and change of editors take the reins too, then..maybe.
    We should live so long. But in hope.

  • Sinkie


    Different countries have different criminal provisions. But what’s your point? He is within Singapore’s jurisdiction and is subject to our laws, which happen to prescribe drug trafficking as a serious crime.

    You wanna enter a country, you have to play by their rules. It’s as simple as that. If you get caught for possession of porn, are you gonna plead that porn is legal in most western countries?

    As for the issue of “lapse of judgement”, that is exactly the point I’m making. We all have lapses of judgement, but a CRIME is not a mere lapse of judgement, much less one that attracts the DP. There is a reason why certain activities are designated as criminal offences as opposed to say, civil wrongs or immorality.

    To answer your question, yes I had lapses of judgement. Things like skipping class and not studying for exams. But no, I did not commit crimes. And I’m pretty sure most 18 – 19 year olds do not commit crimes.

    To equate the commission of a crime with something as frivolous as a “lapse of judgement” is to detract from the unique value of the criminal law in regulating human behaviour.

    Argue for compassion all you want, but do not trivalise the convict’s act.

  • Si Bei Jia Lat

    To : Sinkie

    What is the different Singapore (MDP) and Iran (Stoning to Death ) ???

  • lobo76

    Si Bei Jia Lat

    immediate death, and death by (relatively) slow, torturous process.

  • death erection

    1) A death erection, angel lust, or terminal erection is a post-mortem erection, technically a priapism, observed in the corpses of human males who have been executed, particularly by hanging

    2)The phenomenon has been attributed to pressure on the cerebellum created by the noose. Spinal cord injuries are known to be associated with priapism. Injuries to the cerebellum or spinal cord are often associated with priapism in living patients.

    Death by hanging, whether an execution or a suicide, has been observed to affect the genitals of both men and women. In women, the labia and clitoris will become engorged and there may be a discharge of blood from the vagina. In men, “a more or less complete state of erection of the penis, with discharge of urine, mucus or prostatic fluid is a frequent occurrence … present in one case in three.” Other causes of death may also result in these effects, including fatal gunshot wounds to the brain, damage to major blood vessels, and violent death by poisoning. A postmortem priapism is an indicator that death was likely swift and violent

    3)Japan are review their DP , one of the reason is “hanging” have became a main method of suicide in Japan.

  • fpc

    The way the pigs are feeding on the poor to push their self serving agendas is the same as the way, those charity who were caught cheating in S’pore, how they exploit people’s sense of charity to donate while they mismanage their monies.