"Are you vulnerable, depressed, lonely, elderly or mentally ill? Well, I have just the thing for you..."
Ben Bland on his Asia File blog has reported that he's 'just heard' from Dr Philip Nitschke, the Australian euthanasia campaigner sometimes known as 'Dr Death', that the police have pulled the plug on his planned seminar in Singapore, less than two weeks before it was scheduled to take place in the National Library building. (Yes!)
The police have refused to grant Nitschke's organisation, Exit International, a public entertainment licence on the grounds that his talk "may promote the commission of criminal offences in Singapore, of which euthanasia is one". (Eat that, you homicidal maniac!)
Nitschke said that the decision was "immensely disappointing" ('I become depressed when I can't kill people') and that he was talking to lawyers about the possibility of an appeal.
He had earlier insisted that he had no intention of breaking the law in Singapore and that his seminar would focus on existing legislation surrounding voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide. (Give him an inch and he'll take a yard...) He explained that he would not be offering the sort of information about effective suicide methods that he provides in talks in the UK and Australia.
Nitschke also claimed that he had initially received permission to hold the talk from Singapore's Ministry of Manpower over a month ago, although this was always conditional on the police granting a public entertainment licence.
Following increasing publicity and online chatter about Nitschke's planned seminar in Singapore, Khaw voiced his opposition to the talk earlier this week.
"A workshop to teach the terminally ill how to commit suicide, and in fact, break our law, is not welcome here," he told the Straits Times, adding that "euthanasia, which means helping the patient to commit suicide, is not what the Ministry of Health is promoting". (Put that in your pipe and smoke it 'Doctor'! I hope our Government tells you to go spin as well!)