Unpacking the Courier Exception in the Misuse of Drugs Act: Zainudin bin Mohamed v Public Prosecutor [2018] SGCA 8

When is a drug trafficker who claims to be a mere ‘courier’ not merely a ‘courier’? The Court of Appeal addressed this question in Zainudin bin Mohamed v Public Prosecutor [2018] SGCA 8. The issue was whether a drug trafficker who divided and repacked drugs was merely “transporting, sending or delivering a controlled drug” under s 33B(2)(a)(iii) of the Misuse of Drugs Act (Cap 185, 2008 Rev Ed) (“MDA”), and hence eligible for discretionary life imprisonment (rather than the death penalty) under this so-called “courier exception”.

Reservations about the Value of Reserved Elections

At a press conference on 9 August 1965, moments after Singapore gained independence, then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew proclaimed, “This is not a Malay nation; this is not a Chinese nation; this is not an Indian nation. Everybody will have his place.” This statement set the stage for Singapore’s development as a multiracial country. With the introduction of the reserved election mechanism under Article 19B of the Constitution, the question that arises is whether this mechanism, a “hiatus-triggered model” that encourages diversity in the office of the President, truly furthers multiracialism in Singapore.