I remember when I was about 23, we had a friend who got to know that one of his buddies got busted for drugs. Let’s call him Eddy. In Singapore, once you’re caught with cocaine (with the minimum 30 grams) you would inevitably have to face the death sentence.
Our friend told us that he was sad. He heard that the prison officers had asked Eddy on what he would like to eat for his “last meal”. Eddy was going to be hanged on a Friday, which was a week from that moment.
Suddenly, visions of my yesteryears appeared in my head, of a friend I used to know back in Marine Parade. Kids mature quite quickly into adulthood back then. They were into things like smoking and going to canto clubs at the tender age of 11.
Some formed a different sort of past time, like glue sniffing, which was the thing amongst 10-13yr olds in that area, back in the 80’s.
They took their example from their older friends from high school or even from some of their family members.
I knew one particular friend who was a glue sniffer at 10 years old , she took after her mother who did hard drugs at that time. She continued the drug abuse lifestyle till her older teens and I heard it affected her life, till today.
I never knew what became of her but I hope she is well because some say that she wasn’t . She was the funniest girl who was so talented and entertaining. She was also very kind and stood up for kids who were bullied. Her laughter was contagious. That’s what I remember about her.
Another drug related story hit close to home last month, when a colleague got caught with drugs in the beautiful island of – Bali. He was a nice person according to those who knew him and in that one day, his life turned from awesome to awful, like lickety split.
He basically took a great chance in making a quick buck but hearsay tells that he wanted to just “chill out” on his holiday and that was all. I don’t know the real story of that (cos I haven’t read the papers) —so this part, was all word of mouth but what’s certain is that he’s in a Bali prison now serving his sentence.
Another similar arrest , about a year or so ago, was a Singaporean who got caught for drug trafficking in Sydney, Australia. He was in desperate need for fast cash as he was in great debt due to gambling.
Now I’d like to share this really awesome local film I watched about two months ago, it’s called “The Apprentice”. It features the actor Firdaus Rahman as Aiman, a rookie Hangman.
Learning the skills of a ropeman, he had to retrain himself. He went from helping to facilitate and rehabilitate inmates to learning the art of taking a life.
Aiman became an understudy to a senior Hangman who was so good at what he does, that they could not find anyone to replace him, till now.
Aiman was actually a man on a mission. He was determined to meet the very Hangman that took his father’s life many years ago due to an irreversible mistake.
That being said, at the same time, the film also shows how compassionate the prison officers are.
The “to be hung” convicts were asked what they wanted to eat as their last meal , whether they wanted to share their last words with anyone in particular, and whether they wanted their families to bring them a form of clothing or suit that they’d prefer to wear on D-day.
Some inmates had families who shun them, and the prison officers showed empathy by lying to them – saying that their loving wife had gifted a suit to them when in fact, they had gone to buy a suit for them instead. They told them that their families were too overwhelmed of their going that they couldn’t bear to say goodbye when in fact , some of their families saw them as “dead ends” and had abandoned all hope in them. It was a cold and lonely few days before D-day. And as days and hours go by, they become more and more reluctant to face the music but who wouldn’t?
It was sad but watching it through really made me think of all the irreversible mistakes we make in our lives.
Yeah we can learn from our mistakes of course, and we definitely should. It is from the Darkness that we understand the Light. But some mistakes are truly irreversible and some mistakes we’d have to live with, for the rest of our lives.
No matter what pain, hurt or loneliness you’re going through, you have to learn to recognize the good things. The best things. You need to know that help is not too far away. Reach out. The best type of help anyone could give is, listening. Be it drugs, alcohol, gambling or any other kind of negative addiction, you don’t have to drown yourself to quiet the mind and to block the pain.
You know, I think about death a lot because it reminds me of Living. And the desire to live life the best way possible. To do good. Be kind as much as we can. Be loving and encouraging. Influence goodness and Light. Live well. Taking care of your emotional, mental, spiritual and physical health.
Now I don’t know Eddy. But he could’ve been a really great guy. Maybe he was funny. Maybe he was kind or loved his mum very dearly or maybe he was a father and good husband, I really don’t know.
But what I recognize is that, he was a human life. Which is a path gifted to us by the Al-Mighty Creator.
We are a Universe within a Universe.
Isn’t it such a waste to live your life in Darkness?
The sadder thing about Eddy’s situation was, that he knew in his mind that on Friday, “my life will be taken from me due to my own negligence and ignorance of my well being” . He knew he was going to die that Friday.
You see dying is inevitable. Everyone of us will die eventually. But the sad thing was not dying…the sad thing was he didn’t get a chance to Truly Live.
He was 21.
For more information about the effects of drugs, Singapore laws and how to seek help, please read this article by ecitizen.gov.sg ” Stop Drug Addiction: How to get help ” .
On how to get help for Alcohol addiction , read Alcoholics Anonymous Singapore .
For all other sources of help on Alcohol, Gambling and Internet Sex Addiction dependencies, Anger Management Issues, Depression Issues, Relationship Abuse, Marital advice, Sexual Abuse, Children and Youth counseling and Stress related matters, please contact The SCC or find out more comprehensively on related organizations who can help professionally.
The name Eddy, used in this article as a subject matter has been changed to protect identity and/or for creative story telling purposes only. Stories are based on true events in Singapore. More specific and accurate information can be found out from articles SIA Cabin Crew Caught in Bali and Channel News Asia: Singaporean Arrested in Bali . Other sources : Singaporean Drug Mule Arrested in Sydney .