A Death in Singapore

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After a lengthy hiatus, Indonesia has again started executing prisoners. The uproarious disapproval of much of the International community has been mostly unheeded by Indonesia’s recently elected government. I understand there is a case to be made that drug trafficking can be ruinous to a nation and its people, and that the death penalty may have an impact in curtailing this; But… do we really want to give governments and politicians the power to encroach on our lives in this most personal and individual way. The above pictures are of the family of Vignes Mourthi, the son of poor rubber tappers from Malaysia. He was accused and convicted of bringing a quantity of heroin into Singapore and was executed by hanging. His lost family stumbled about the streets of an unfamiliar city trying to make sense of the following letter which they received from the Government of Singapore:

“Dear Sir,
This is to inform you that the death sentence passed on Vignes S/O Mourthi will be carried out on 26 Sep 2003. You and other family members may visit him from 23 Sep 2003 to 25 Sep 2003. You are advised to make the necessary funeral arrangements. If you are unable to do to so, cremation will be carried out by the state.
For further information please contact…”

I just think there’s already been too much power conceded to governments and politicians in the name of security.

From Instagram – remembrance of things past edition

Any photographer that’s spent time in Jakarta has probably been to this Chinese temple in Jakarta which for hundreds of years has heard the fervent prayers of jakarta’s Chinese community and an equal number of prayers from photographers praying for a great picture. It was badly burnt Monday with the main temple completely destroyed.

Happy Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year everyone! This Year is the Year of the Goat/Sheep/Ram – Heyyyy three for the price of one Everyone’s a winner

From Instagram – Department of Neighbourhood Characters

Master Of Disguise. Jakarta
A neighborhood beggar shaves his head under a highway overpass. Over several years, I’ve seen him working a corner near my house with a variety tumors. and head injuries And once even a very realistic second nose, all skillfully applied with makeup.

The now Ubiquitous Black and White Challenge

I don’t know where the B&W challenge started but I’ve seen a lot of it. Last week my friend Mark Baker challenged me which meant that for the following 5 days I had to post a B&W image everyday. Since I’ve been recovering from ankle surgery, that meant dipping into my archive everyday – I really enjoyed it and hope everyone else did too. I originally posted the pictures on Facebook but thought I’d give them a run here.

Vroooom – portraits of Extreme Vespa modders

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Massive Flooding in Jakarta

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Gold Rush

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After a lengthy hiatus recovering from knee surgery, I’m back to work; and first up, is a story about the dark and dangerous world of the artisinal gold miner.  Artisinal is a term of art which really means small groups of guys tearing up mountains with prybars and digging holes deep into the ground without the benefit of engineering know-how or equipment to go after the shiny yellow metal which has been rising in price. Consequently, men who have spent most of their lives fishing or farming are now tunneling and often these tunnels are just narrow holes propped up by old sticks and hope.