Retired basketball star Dennis Rodman was recently in Singapore to witness the historic meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un earlier this week.
The former NBA player and Hall-of-Famer who is known for his unique friendships with both Trump and Kim, made waves during his trip here. Besides revealing that former US President Obama brushed him off when he tried to convey Kim’s message seeking a deal, Rodman broke down during a CNN interview recounting the backlash he received when he expressed hope that the US would meet North Korea.
Rodman also expressed that he deserved the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the summit occurring, as he ate Chicken Rice at Maxwell Food Centre.
Interestingly, Rodman has also prompted speculation over whether the authorities might have turned a blind eye for promoting a cryptocurrency platform dedicated to the purchase of legal marijuana throughout his trip here.
The cryptocurrency platform, PotCoin, was the group that sponsored Rodman’s trip to Singapore. PotCoin also played a part in sponsoring previous activities Rodman has been involved in when he visited North Korea in the past.
Rodman heavily promoted his “loyal sponsor” PotCoin during his trip here. Donning a T-shirt emblazoned with the PotCoin website, Rodman made repeated mention of his sponsor in interviews during his trip here, as well as on social media.
While the legalisation of marijuana is growing in North America, the possession and consumption of marijuana is still prohibited here. According to Singapore’s Misuse of Drugs Act, it is illegal to possess or consume drugs such as cannabis and it is unlawful to abet the possession or consumption of such scheduled drugs:
- The unauthorised import or export of cannabis where the quantity is not less than 330 grammes and not more than 500 grammes, carries a minimum of 20 years imprisonment and 15 strokes of the cane to a maximum of 30 years or imprisonment for life and 15 strokes of the cane.
- Should the quantity exceed 500 grammes, the sentence is death.
While Rodman does not appear to have flouted any laws here, his open promotion of PotCoin has raised eyebrows – especially given how the authorities routinely reiterate the need to have strict laws prohibiting drugs.
Just three months ago, in March, Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam expounded on the need to toughen Singapore’s laws on drugs, in Parliament.
Asserting that Singapore must ‘be firm resisting those who try to force their ideologies’, the Minister called out activists who campaign against the mandatory death penalty for drug-related offences and said:
“The activists light candles for traffickers outside Changi Prison, they write emotive stories… But who cares for…real victims? How many young lives have we saved with our policies? Would you hear a squeak from the activists, about these people?”