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Judicial CP - June 2006

Corpun file 17753

Sunday Times, Perth, 11 June 2006

Flogging call for criminals

By Joe Spagnolo


WA [Western Australia] should copy Singapore and flog serious criminals, while murderers should be executed, Liberal MP Rob Johnson says.

The Opposition's police spokesman will try to convince his Liberal colleagues to support a referendum on the reintroduction of the death penalty and caning for serious offenders.

Mr Johnson, whose previous calls for a referendum on the controversial issues of capital and corporal punishment have fallen on deaf ears, said Premier Alan Carpenter had a chance to give families of rape and murder victims the justice they deserved.

At the very least, West Australians should be given the opportunity to give serious criminals a "good flogging" and should be able to administer the punishment themselves, Mr Johnson said.

He said he was a fan of the Singaporean method of punishment that saw more than 1000 youths and men caned with a rattan each year.

The offenders were strapped to a metal frame with their buttocks exposed and the rattan was soaked in water overnight to prevent the cane splitting and to maximise pain.

They were caned up to a maximum of 24 strokes.

"In Singapore, once these criminals get the rattan, very rarely do they want to go back for a second serve by committing more crimes," Mr Johnson said.

"We have softened too much over the years and the pendulum of justice has swung too far in favour of the criminals.


Previously, WA churches and Labor governments have dismissed the idea of reintroducing the death penalty, or bringing in laws to allow corporal punishment.

Yesterday, indications were that those views had not changed.

"Nobody takes Rob Johnson seriously, not even Rob Johnson," Mr Carpenter said.

Even Liberal leader Paul Omodei appeared to give his colleague the cold shoulder over the idea.

"It's not appropriate for him to make comments before it has been to the party room," Mr Omodei said.

"It should be discussed there and then a statement made after that.

"I am not prepared to discuss the issue until I have spoken to him."

Sunday Times

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