The Malaysian city of Johor Bahru (JB), just across the straits from Singapore, boasts a robust micro-economy in the illicit trade of DVDs and VCDs. These include pornographic, obscene, and seditious or pirated films. The transportation of these DVDs and VCDs into Singapore is illegal, and many Singaporeans are unwilling to carry them across the border due to the mandatory death penalty associated with being caught at the checkpoint. This has led to many poor Malaysians and others becoming “DVD mules” to earn a living despite the risks. Singapore Donkey investigated three pirated DVD hawkers in JB and found that all offer DVD delivery service to Singapore for either a minimum purchase or a small fee. With the recent hanging of two young, poor “DVD mules” from Nigeria, PM Lee was forced to write a letter to the Nigerian president explaining Singapore’s position. PM Lee explained that mandatory hanging, even for a nonviolent offense, is necessary to protect Singaporeans from the scourge of pirated and pornographic DVDs. In one case, PM Lee indicated that the pornography contained in one car crossing the checkpoint contained enough “skin” to destroy 50,000 lives. Thus, execution is warranted, and is in fact the reason why Singapore’s bedrooms are so safe today.
No review for mandatory hanging of Johor’s “DVD mules”