Monday, August 02, 2010

Jolly Hangman

Once a Jolly Hangman (Singapore Justice in the Dock) Author: Alan Shadrake. Price RM38.00

(This is not about Malaysia, but the books having a spot of trouble in Singapore now.)

Over the past few decades, investigative journalism has come to mean the kind of brave reporting that exposes injustice, wrongdoing and, above all, the abuse of power. Alan Shadrake’s hard-hitting new book cuts through the façade of official silence to reveal disturbing truths about Singapore’s use of the death penalty. From in-depth interviews with Darshan Singh, Singapore’s chief executioner for nearly fifty years, to meticulously researched accounts of numerous high profile cases, Once a Jolly Hangman reveals the cruelty and imprudence of an entire judicial system. At the same time he displays a touching empathy with the anguish of the victims and their families. This important book should be required reading for human rights activists everywhere.

‘Alan Shadrake’s book, Once a Jolly Hangman, is a timely contribution to growing criticism of Singapore’s shameful use of the death penalty’ -- Margaret John, Amnesty International Canada.

Alan Shadrake is a renowned veteran investigative journalist and author whose 50-year career has taken him around the world. His first major book The Yellow Pimpernels told the escape stories across the Berlin Wall and was the subject of a BBC documentary. Subsequent publications have delved into a variety of subjects including an expose of life in a Soviet gulag, the story of the boy poisoner Graham Young and, with Linda Lee, The Life and Tragic Death of Bruce Lee. His appetite for unearthing the facts and presenting unpalatable truths remains undiminished. He divides his time between Britain and Malaysia.

Other new Malaysian books on the shelf

1. Karpal Singh: true Malaysian
2. Lim Lian Geok: Soul of the Malaysian Chinese