Veteran anti-death penalty activist Kokila Annamalai recently penned down her thoughts about why our country is still partaking in such a barbaric act. This is despite the fact “that a critical mass of people in Singapore are opposed to the death penalty, or are at the least, troubled by it”.
The biggest issue is that this critical mass are too obedient
Kokila believes that a lot of people are against the death penalty, they just are too obedient to do anything about it.
“To abolish the death penalty, we do not need the majority to oppose it, we just need a critical mass. We now have that critical mass. But this critical mass is largely still obedient.”Kokila Annamalai
Therefore, in order to tear down the death penalty, what Singaporeans need to do is to be more disobedient.
How to be disobedient?
There are many things that Singaporeans opposed to the death penalty can do. Kokila listed a few examples:
- Those who are lawyers can protest together in one voice
- Students can organize their peers and walk out of class together each time an execution is announced
- Journalists should write about the death penalty guided by their conscience
- Shopkeepers and small business owners can close their shops every time an execution takes place
- Police and prison officers should go on strike, and refuse to assist with executions
- Healthcare workers can pressure the Singapore Medical Association to take a stand against any doctor participating in executions
- Mothers and caregivers could keep their children home from school in protest
Basically, if everyone took action to show their disapproval, we can tear down the death penalty.
“We need those who care to be willing to take action that will cost oppressive institutions. And when we take action, we will face persecution – we need resilience in the face of such persecution.”Kokila Annamalai
Read Kokila’s full write-up here.