Vui Kong get new lease of life <3

On 14 Nov 2013, Vui Kong’s sentence has been commuted to life imprisonment back dating from 14 June 2007 and 15 strokes of the cane.

Good news that Vui Kong is now off death row but we are troubled by the caning .

Thanks everyone who have working hard with us in the campaign!

原本因运毒被判死刑的杨伟光,今在新加坡高庭改判為终身监禁及鞭刑15下。

感谢各位与我们一起努力的同伴。

Related Reports:

http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/246556

http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/246647

http://m.todayonline.com/singapore/death-penalty-lifted-yong-vui-kong

http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2013/11/14/Yong-Vui-Kong-spared-death-sentence-Singapore.aspx

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-24940568

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/14/us-singapore-death-idUSBRE9AD0BG20131114

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/death-penalty-lifted-for-malaysian-drug-trafficker-yong-vui-kong

中文报道

http://www.guangming.com.my/node/184821

http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/246552

http://www.orientaldaily.com.my/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=84419:&Itemid=113

http://www.orientaldaily.com.my/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=84552:&Itemid=114

http://www.orientaldaily.com.my/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=84555%3A&Itemid=114

Other reports

http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/singapore-landmark-ruling-lifts-death-penalty-drug-offender-2013-11-14

http://spuddings.net/2013/11/14/thoughts-on-yong-vui-kongs-new-sentence/

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World Day Against Death Penalty 2012_JOIN US!!!

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运良的信

Dear Singapore,

As a family member of Yong Vui Kong, I am greatly comforted and very grateful to learn that Singapore is planning to revise some of its laws at this critical moment. My gratitude to Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hian and the Cabinet for rethinking the use of the Mandatory Death Penalty on drug mules, thus giving my brother a ray of
hope. For someone like Vui Kong, death is indeed an overly harsh punishment. Killing a mule does not solve any problems if the mastermind remains at large. Amending the law will instead make Singapore a safer place and lead to a fairer justice system for all.

Vui Kong was a naive 19-year-old when he was lured into becoming a drug mule. His boss started by asking him to collect debts, then told him to deliver “gifts” (drugs). These bad people avoided coming into direct contact with the drugs themselves by placing the risk instead on their mules. Such gangs usually target vulnerable people and I am very sorry that my little brother became their unwitting sacrificial lamb.

Over the past six years, my whole family has been worrying about Vui Kong. We’ve never given up on him and have worked hard for him. This is because we believe my brother was tricked. He was naive and incapable of understanding the seriousness of his crime. Vui Kong didn’t know his boss was making use of him when he delivered the “gifts” (drugs). Till now, Vui Kong’s mother remains unaware that he faces the death penalty. She suffers from severe depression and my family has kept her in the dark. We hope Vui Kong will now be able to escape death so we no longer have to lie to our mother.

Vui Kong has embraced Buddhism. Over the past years, he’s become a vegetarian and spends his time studying Buddhist scripture, like a monk. Knowing this gives my family comfort. He is a completely different person from who he was in the past. Vui Kong has repented and is sorry for his past stupidity. We hope authorities can forgive him as he has now turned over a new leaf. Please give Vui Kong, a first-time offender, a second chance. He has changed and will spend the rest of his years doing what he can to support the anti-drug campaign. I believe Vui Kong, who is now a devout Buddhist, can use his experiences to reach out to other young people. He can use himself as an example to tell society about the evils of the drug trade and prevent would-be victims from becoming mules.

I hope the authorities can take into consideration Vui Kong’s youth, family background and other circumstances, before handing out punishment to Vui Kong. He is not a drug lord. He has cooperated and helped identify the real mastermind. I hope that now that the law is going to change, the courts can rethink his punishment and give a repentent Vui Kong, a chance to live.

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PRESS STATEMENT SAVE VUI KONG CAMPAIGN ON MDP

10TH JULY 2012

The Save Vui Kong Campaign is pleased to learn that the Singapore Government has proposed an amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Act to abolish the mandatory death sentence for drug mules under certain circumstances.

According to the proposal, drug trafficking offenses will no longer punishable with the mandatory death sentence, instead, the court is given discretion to impose life imprisonment in cases where the accused person is clearly a courier not involved in the supply and distribution chain, or where the accused has cooperated with the police or suffers from a mental disability.

We also learned that “once the amendment has been put in place, all accused persons who meet the requirements can elect to be considered for a review of the sentence under the new law. This will include accused persons in ongoing cases, as well as convicted persons who have already exhausted all appeal procedures and are currently awaiting execution”.

With this amendment, we believe that Yong Vui Kong is eligible to apply for a review of his sentence on the grounds that he was young, naïve, led astray and used as a courier by the drug lords, whom he had identified to the police during investigation, as provided under the new amendment of the law. Yong Vui Kong has since repented and he vows to play a role in the anti-drug campaign.

The same goes for Chung Chin Yin, who has testified consistently that he had been misled into believing that what he was carrying is gold bar instead of drugs. He had also provided details of the person who had arranged for his trip, including the name, contact number and description to the police as well as during trial.

And many more who had fallen victim to the drug industry, who may have no knowledge of what they were told to carry, or were induced, misled, intimidated or forced into carrying drugs for the drug lords.

In the mean time while waiting for the amendments to be officially approved, we urge that all execution be suspended immediately.

Last but not least, we welcome this encouraging — positive step taken by the Singapore Government towards conforming to the international human rights standard

————————————— END ————————————————————————————

杨伟光后援会对新加坡政府提议修正毒品法案,废除对毒卢的唯一死刑刑罚,表示欢迎。

据了解,修正法案将废除运毒的唯一死刑刑罚,把诠释权归还于法庭,法庭将决定,若被告只是纯粹的“邮差”而非毒品集团主脑,并给于警方全力合作,或基于被告智商问题,而判被告终生监禁。

我们也了解,当修正法案成效后,所有的被告,若符合上述条件,都能在新的法案下要求重新检讨其刑罚。这包括了在审判中的,以及已经结案并等待被执行死刑的被告。

我们认为,杨伟光基于他年轻,天真,误入歧途而被利用成为跑腿, 并在警察的盘问下确认和供出他背后的主谋,有条件在新的法案下要求检讨其刑罚。伟光已反省,改过自新,并发愿在有生之年将全力协助反毒运动。

同样的,张俊炎也有如此条件。他一路坚持他的说法,说他是被误导以为那些物品是金条而非毒品,他的说法一致,他也给于警方充分的合作,在盘问过程中和在法庭内,供出安排他行程的人的名字,电话和样子。

还有许多在这个复杂且黑暗的毒品交易中的受害者,他/她们可能是完全不知情,或被引诱,被误导,被强迫的情况下带毒品。

与此同时,我们呼吁新加坡政府,在新法案还有被定案以前,立刻停止所有死刑的执行。

最后,我们对新加坡政府在人权课题中前进的这一小步感到欣慰。

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Court of Appeal Deliver Judgement on 4 April

The decision on Yong Vui Kong’s latest legal application will be delivered by the Supreme Court of Singapore on 4th April 2012 at 2.30pm.

马来西亚籍新加坡死囚杨伟光上诉新加坡上诉庭挑战总检察署选择性提控一案将在4月4日下午2时30分宣布判决。

http://www.merdekareview.com/news_v2.php?n=23747

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Memo to Foreign Minister on VK Unfair Treatment

MEMORANDUM

IN RELATION TO THE UNFAIR TREATMENT RECEIVED BY MR YONG VUI KONG

To:         Foreign Minister of Malaysia, Dato Seri Anifah Hj Aman

Date:     26 March 2012

Backgrounds:-

Mr Yong Vui Kong, a Malaysia citizen who has been convicted of trafficking in 47.27 gram of diamorphine under s5(1) (a) of the Misuse of Drugs Act (Cap 185, 2001 Rev Ed) and sentenced to death in Singapore, has recently filed an application in the Supreme Court, claiming that the prosecution in exercising its discretionary power to prosecute, had, prima facie, acted discriminatory against Yong Vui Kong, thus violating his rights under Article 12 of the Singapore’s Constitution in relation to equal treatment.

The challenge is premised on the facts that the more culpable offender, that is mastermind, one Chia Choon Leng, was not prosecuted while the less culpable offender,  that is the mule, Yong Vui Kong was charged and prosecuted for a capital offence.

The application was heard by the Supreme Court of Singapore on 14 March 2012 and further submission by counsel on 19 March 2012. The court reserved its decision to a further date.

Discrimination based on nationality

During the arguments and submission of the above application, it was revealed and undisputed that: -

  1. Chia Choon Leng is the mastermind of a drug syndicate and is the one handed the packet and gave instruction to Yong Vui Kong. He is not only involved in drug trafficking, but he actively recruits, instructs and supplies drugs to courier and was at the apex of an organized group that carefully planned and coordinated drug trafficking activities.
  2. Chia Choon Leng is a Singapore citizen, born in 1965.
  3. Chia Choon Leng was initially charged with 26 counts of offences, mainly of abetting and instigating drug trafficking activities, but all the charges were later withdrawn by the prosecution.
  4. 5 out of the 26 counts of offences were directly involving Yong Vui Kong.
  5. Chia Choon Leng is now detained under executive order without trial.
  6. Chia Choon Leng is not only directly involved in Yong Vui Kong’s offence, he is also the one giving drug to one Koh Bak Kiang.
  7. Koh Bak Kiang is a Singapore citizen, born in 1976. He was 26 years old when arrested.
  8. Koh Bak Kiang has on the same account charged and prosecuted for trafficking in not less than 14.99 grams of the drug (the statutory limit that triggers the mandatory death sentence is 15 grams).
  9. Koh Bak Kiang pleaded guilty and was sentence to imprisonment.
  10. Chia Choon Leng was again not prosecuted (charges withdrawn) for his involvement in Koh Bak Kiang’s case.

Based on the above facts, we gather that:-

  1. Both Chia Choon Leng and Koh Bak Kiang are Singapore citizen.
  2. Chia Choon Leng was not prosecuted (all charges against him withdrawn) and did not stand trial for his criminal enterprise.
  3. Koh Bak Kiang was charged with a couple of offences but each did not trigger the statutory limit of mandatory death sentence.
  4. Chia Choon Leng is now detained under the executive order while Koh Bak Kiang is serving jail terms.

On the other hand, Yong Vui Kong, who is a Malaysia citizen, was prosecuted with a capital offence.  The culpability of Yong Vui Kong offence is less than that of Chia Choon Leng, or even Koh Bak Kiang, on the facts that Yong Vui Kong is merely a courier boy, who was only 19 years old when the act was committed.

In fact, the judge in Koh Bak Kiang’s case has identified that Koh played a very significant role but he took cognizance of Chia Choon Leng ‘s even role closer to the apex. Thus, in terms of hierarchy of culpability from courts records Chia Choon Leng is higher than Koh Bak Kiang.  And Koh Bak Kiang is higher then Yong Vui Kong but Yong Vui Kong gets the most severe punishment for not knowing the legalities of prosecutorial discretion and the ultimate punishment of death meted out to him.

We feel that the prosecution, in exercising his discretion to prosecution Yong Vui Kong with the capital offence, while not prosecuting (charges withdrawn) Chia Choon Leng and prosecuting Koh Bak Kiang with a non-capital offence, even though all of them are in the same criminal enterprise, prima facie, shows that the prosecution has acted discriminatory against Yong Vui Kong based on nationality.

We feel that this is a serious breach of Yong Vui Kong’s rights to equal treatment under international human rights law and we urge the Malaysia government to take all necessary actions to protect its citizen, in particular, Yong Vui Kong, including bringing the matter to the International Court of Justice.

Submitted by : Save Vui Kong Campaign

————————————–

To read the background information of this nationality discrimination case, click to download from here :BackgroundsInfo_VK_NationalityDiscrimination_26March2012

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Discrimination in Nationality for VK Case

MPs: Double standard in sentencing Vui Kong

Original Post : Free Malaysia Today , Author : Patrick Lee,  | March 26, 2012

 

Malaysians convicted of drug crimes in Singapore are led to the hangman’s noose, while citizens there are allegedly being led away.

KUALA LUMPUR: It appears that there might be double standard for those on death row in Singapore- one standard for Singaporeans on drug charges and another for Malaysians.

There have been accusations that Malaysians convicted of drug charges in Singapore are being kept on death row, while Singapore citizens there are allegedly led away from the hangman’s noose.

Sentenced to death in 2009, Sabahan drug mule Yong Vui Kong’s supporters have been appealing to the Singaporean courts for him to be let off the death penalty, but with little success.

Meanwhile, Yong’s two Singaporean associates – including a syndicate “mastermind”- have been allegedly taken off death row.

Revealing this to reporters in Parliament, Save Vui Kong Campaign (SKVC) coordinator Ngeow Chow Ying said: “This is discrimination of nationality, because they are Singaporeans and they have escaped that (death row), whereas Malaysians have no chance against it.”

She was accompanied by Lembah Pantai MP (PKR) Nurul Izzah Anwar, Bukit Bendera MP (DAP) Liew Chin Tong and Tawau MP (SAPP) Chua Boon Sui.

Yong was arrested by Singaporean authorities in 2007 (then aged 18) for drug trafficking, and subsequently sentenced to death.

Ngoew alleged that depositions and testimonies made during Yong’s trial had showed that two more Singaporeans were involved.

Ngeow said however, that Singaporeans Chia Choon Leng, the alleged drug trafficking mastermind, and Koh Bak Kiang, a drug mule, were also involved but received better treatment.

Though initially charged with 26 counts of offences – including starting drug trafficking activities – all the charges were later withdrawn by the prosecution. Ngeow added that five of these 26 counts directly involved Yong.

She also pointed out that Bak Kiang who “on the same account” was charged and prosecuted for trafficking in not less than 14.99 grams of the drugs he was carrying. The limit, triggering the mandatory death sentence, is 15 grams.

Koh, who pleaded guilty to transporting 14.99 grams of diamorphine, escaped the mandatory death penalty for transporting 15 grams or more of the drug, and is serving a prison term.

Yong who was caught with 47.27 grams of the same drug was sentenced to death by the republic’s court.

Leniency for other nationals

Ngoew is alleging that there is a bias on how the prosecution dealt so severely with Yong but alleged the two locals were afforded leniency.

The two Singaporeans were not the only ones involved in drug crimes who were let off death row.

In 2002, German citizen Julia Suzanne Bohl was found with 687 grams of marijuana, 187 grams above the death sentence limit. She was sentenced to five years in jail after her government intervened, and was promptly freed after two.

Though in support of Yong, Opposition MPs present stopped short of saying if Singapore was actively discriminating against Malaysians on death row .

PKR MP Nurul said: “The fact that there’s a precedence means that it can happen. What we’re asking for is for the Malaysian government is to exhaust all efforts (over Yong).”

“The least it can do is safeguard the safety of all Malaysians abroad,” she said.

Ngeow also alleged that Malaysia, particular its High Commission in Singapore, did not appear to treat Yong’s case with any urgency.

“As far as I know, there was not much support for Yong’s case. (His lawyer) M Ravi has gone to the High Commission many times before they actually went to prison to visit him,” she said.

She added that the least Malaysia could do for its citizens convicted overseas was to make sure that they got a fair trial.

新加坡重判大马人轻饶本国人?
维权人士再吁政府拯救杨伟光

原載: 當今大馬, 作者:李偉倫,2012年3月26日

马来西亚人杨伟光在新加坡被判死刑一案有新进展,“为杨伟光请命”运动今日质疑新加坡司法机关歧视马来西亚人,一方面判杨伟光死刑,另一方面却轻饶两名同样涉嫌运毒罪的新加坡人。

根据“为杨伟光请命”协调员饶兆颖,一名名为谢春林(译音,Chia Choon Leng)的新加坡人,虽然已被确认为指使杨伟光运毒的幕后老板,也已经被控以26项罪名,不过控方过后却撤销一切控状。

另一名名为高博强(Koh Bak Kiang)的新加坡人,则同样受到谢春林的指使运毒,但新加坡法庭最终只判他运送不超过14.99克的毒品罪成,只需监禁而逃过死刑。

新加坡法律规定,只有运毒超过15克者,才会被判强制死刑。

提呈备忘录给副外长

NONE饶兆颖(左图中)也是一名律师,她今日到国会大厦把一份备忘录提呈给外交部副部长里查烈,希望马来西亚政府能介入此事,保护马来西亚公民的生命。

她也与班底谷国会议员努鲁依莎、升旗山国会议员刘镇东及斗湖国会议员蔡顺梅召开记者会,质疑新加坡司法机关歧视马来西亚人。

“两名新加坡人逃过死刑,而杨伟光则被判死刑,这是国籍歧视。我国政府之前说不能介入新加坡的司法制度,但政府这次应该帮助杨伟光,除非政府认同这种国籍歧视。”

我国死囚增至164人

刘镇东表示,在争取新加坡总统特赦杨伟光的同时,马来西亚政府也应该检讨本国的死刑制度。

他指出,去年2月22日我国监狱内只有696名死囚,但在1年之后,已经增加164人至860人,显示我国死刑判罚有增加的趋势。

他促请政府检讨目前的死刑制度,即使不能完全废除死刑,也应该至少检讨对毒品罪的判罚,即把判死刑与否交给法官定夺,而非强制死刑。

挑战新国选择性提控

杨伟光已经在今年1月27日通过律师拉维入禀法庭,挑战新加坡总检察署选择性提控杨伟光,但却放过杨伟光“老板”谢春林的决定。

根据新加坡媒体早前的报道,新加坡高庭在审讯中发现,谢春林是当时联络杨伟光的人,以说服后者为他运送“礼物”。后来,这些“礼物”被发现就是毒品,而这也导致杨伟光入罪。

杨伟光在过去4年都被囚禁于死囚室中,目前仍在等待新加坡总统的特赦决定。

杨伟光现年22岁,是一名马来西亚沙巴人。根据“为杨伟光请命”运动所发布的资料,他于2007年遭毒枭诱骗运送47克海洛因而在新加坡被捕,过后被判处死刑。他在犯下此一致命性的错误时未到19岁,完全不知道贩运毒品的刑罚是死刑。

在被监禁之后,杨伟光在佛法中得启发,并立志将余生投入于辅导狱友及警惕群众有关于毒品的致命性危害。

马来西亚非政府组织与多名政治人物,都通过各种活动,希望说服新加坡总统赦免这名22岁青年的死刑。

Other reports:

新国撤杨伟光贩毒案主谋控状  后援会促大马呈案至国际法庭 (獨立新聞在線)

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Death Penalty Not Deterring Drug Trade

Author : Patrik Lee (Free Malaysia Today), 19 March 2012

More people have been arrested over drug dealing, despite the shadow of the mandatory death penalty hanging over their heads.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s mandatory death penalty on drug-related crime does not appear to have stopped drug dealers .

In fact, it was the reverse: there has been a steady increase over the last three years, according to a reply in Parliament.

In a written answer to Bukit Gelugor MP (DAP) Karpal Singh, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said that 3,845 people had been arrested for drug dealing in 2011.

“Police statistics for the arrests of drug dealers under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 for the past three years (2009 to 2011) have shown an increase,” he said.

According to him, in 2009, 2,955 people were arrested under this section. In 2010, 3,700 people were arrested.

Karpal had asked if the 1983 amendments to the Act – which would slap serious drug offenders with capital punishment – had been effective in reducing drug-related crime.

To this, Hishammuddin said that the increase was caused by the trade’s ability to make a lot of money quickly; globalisation, creating a borderless world, which opened up a space for drug-dealing; and the “easier process” in which synthetic drugs were made, through the availability of chemical formulas and ingredients.

Previously, the Bar Council said that 32 countries around the world had death penalty for drug-related crime.

Of this number, 13 of them still enforced the mandatory death penalty, which included Malaysia.

The Bar Council’s president Lim Chee Wee said that most drug traffickers and dealers were “low-ranking drug mules”, who were the easiest (in the trade) to apprehend.

He added that there was no proof that the death penalty helped to cut down on drug-related crime.

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殺戮的艱難:從死刑爭議談起

講座題目:殺戮的艱難:從死刑爭議談起 A Public Talk on “Controversial of Death Penalty Issues”
日期         :2012年3月10日(星期六)晚上7時30分
地點         :Viva Home Expo Hall,Viva Home, Jalan Loke Yew, KL

主辦:2012大馬國際圖書博覽會、隆雪華堂民權委員會、學樂書苑
主講:饒兆穎(隆雪華堂民權委員會副主席,「給生命第二次機會」協調員)、楊潔(出版社編輯)
主持:陳慧君(隆雪華堂民權委員會秘書)

 

「死刑是一種誘惑。
有正義感的人,
多少都曾經把死刑當作是一種實現正義的方式……

我們心裡都有一把尺,
衡量罪惡與正義。

但是當我們執行了死刑,
我們還能保住好人與壞人之間那一點點的差別嗎?」——張娟芬,《殺戮的艱難》

死刑存廢是人類社會爭論已久的問題。東方社會一直以來有著「殺人償命」的觀念,遇到罪貫滿盈的罪犯,若未被判决死刑,實難杜絕民衆的悠悠衆口。這也顯示,一般庶民對于重大犯罪行爲的恐懼,認爲無死刑可能引發犯罪者的僥幸心理而增添惡行,且失社會公道。

自從「楊偉光後援會」在2010年發起10萬人簽名與醒覺運動以來,這項死囚案成爲近來最多人討論的話題。基於對生命的珍惜,爭辯死刑存廢,悲憫之心當然可以理解;但值此時刻,從維護法治的立場計議,如何在法理和人道面上對死刑問題深入討論,恐怕與依恃個人信仰或聲援救濟同樣重要。

一國治安不靖,應該溯其根源,政府施政與政策偏差等等,恐怕都是推卸不了的理由,如果光只想由刑罰著眼,恐怕只見其枝末,而忘其本幹也。唯死刑爭議待厘清者衆,任何論者均不應忽略這個事實便驟下結論。

當提出以人道主義或法治文明的角度來評判這種刑罰的同時,也應想想靠著公權力殺一儆百時,是否真正的能够造就成一個安和樂利的社會?

這場講座,首先將回顧「給生命第二次機會」運動之緣起與進展,接著回顧馬來西亞、新加坡兩國的死刑歷史,比較國際社會對死刑之爭論,同時,也將導讀臺灣作家張娟芬反思死刑存廢爭議之力作《殺戮的艱難》。【註】

本書從各案例抽絲剝繭,自典籍中聯想反省,有力的論證文字,清晰的思考觀點,豐富的資料搜集,皆能提供一個空間更寬廣的思考平臺,讓社會大衆能以更多元的角度,來衡量生命的重量。

【註】請參考:http://www.taedp.org.tw/p/812

入場免費!

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Re-open the decision upholding Vui Kong’s conviction

Yong Vui Kong’s lawyer, Mr M Ravi,  filed a constitutional challenge on 27/01/2012 morning and asked the court to, inter alia, re-open the decision of Vui Kong conviction and to declare that the selection prosecution between Vui Kong and the alleged syndicate mastermind is a violation of the equal protection rights under article 12 of the Constitution.

Details reports as following:

Selective prosecution? Re-open the decision upholding the Vui Kong’s conviction

Original post by theonlinecitizen on January 27, 2012

A Criminal Motion has been filed in the Court of Appeal today on behalf of Yong Vui Kong. The motion challenges the constitutionality of the prosecution’s decision to charge Vui Kong with a crime that attracts the mandatory death penalty while withdrawing previous charges made against Vui Kong’s ‘boss’, Chia Choon Leng.

In his affidavit, Vui Kong’s lawyer, M Ravi, states that in acting in this manner, the Attorney-General has violated Vui Kong’s fundamental right to equal protection of the law enshrined in Article 12(1) of the Constitution. Applying the standards set out by the Court in the recent case of Ramalingam Ravinthran vs PP, it is submitted by Mr Ravi, that ‘the Applicant is able to raise a prima facie case of a breach of Article 12(1).’

Chia has been identified by the Attorney-General’s chambers as the alleged mastermind behind the criminal enterprise that Yong was found to have been a part of. In reply to queries made by Mr Ravi, the Deputy Public Prosecutor confirmed that Chia had been arrested in connection with the trafficking syndicate that Vui Kong was a part of. Yong had also mentioned his name repeatedly to the police and to the court while accounting for his actions.

During the criminal trial in the High Court, it was found that Chia was the person who initially contacted Vui Kong, and subsequently provided him with the ‘gifts’ to deliver. The ‘gifts’ that Vui Kong was caught with was found to have contained the 47.27g of diamorphine, which he was sentenced to death for.

Chia however, remains uncharged and in executive detention under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act. The Prosecution had informed the court that they had withdrawn charges against Chia due to a lack of evidence. However, Vui Kong, in his affidavit, states that, ‘ I do not recall having been asked by the Prosecutor to assist in relation to any difficulty of evidence perceived in relation to Chia.’

Such is the phenomenon created by the Mandatory Death Penalty, that despite being caught at about the same time as Vui Kong, in relation to the same criminal enterprise, third parties and parcel in question, the mastermind behind the criminal syndicate remains in detention while the courier that he recruited, who is young, naïve and in desperate need of money, is sentenced to death. This cries out for explanation as it goes against the very notion of justice.

Vui Kong, in his affidavit, writes that, ‘My complaint is that if the Attorney-General felt unable to prosecute Chia in the circumstances, he should have felt unable to prosecute me and my prosecution (for a capital offence) on those same facts can only be described as a treatment which is not equal within the meaning of Article 12(1).’

He further states that, ‘I do not understand how it can be possible for the Attorney-General to prosecute me in such circumstances given that on all the evidence before him, he is unable to prosecute Mr Chia the mastermind.’

According to Mr Ravi, ‘The evidence on record is sufficient to rebut the presumption of constitutionality with regards to the A-G’s decision to prosecute the Applicant for a capital offence while not prosecuting a more culpable party at all’. One such reason is ‘ the lack of any apparent reason for the Attorney-General’s decision other than a difficulty of evidence which is itself difficult to follow given the evidence against Chia’.

Another would be that, ‘it is contrary to any notion of justice that (all other things being equal) a less culpable offender should be charged with a more serious offence (and subjected to a more serious punishment) while a more culpable offender is not prosecuted at all when both are involved in the same criminal enterprise, especially when the punishment of a less culpable offender is death.’

In addition, Ravi also points to the fact that the courts intervention, ‘would serve an additional purpose in this case by reminding the Attorney-General of the legislative priority intended to be given as between categories of offenders under the Act.’

He cites the speech made by the then Law Minister, Mr Chua Sian Chin, who said that, ‘The death penalty will also be imposed for the unauthorized import, export or trafficking of more than 30g of morphine or more than 15g of heroin…It is not intended to sentence petty morphine and heroin peddlers to death’.

Ravi adds that the purposes of the Act, ‘is to target the masterminds behind the drug trafficking enterprises, not the low-level ‘peddlers’ recruited, forced or misled to traffic the drugs.’

The Court has yet to set a date for the hearing.

律师指放过毒枭违反宪法
申请检讨杨伟光死刑判决

獨立新聞在線 Jan 27, 2012 07:01:31 pm

【本刊记者撰述】马来西亚籍新加坡死囚杨伟光的辩护律师今天入禀新加坡上诉庭,申请检讨宣判杨伟光罪名成立的判决,以及要求上诉庭宣判,杨伟光遭选择性提控,反之犯罪集团首脑却逃过法网,已经违反了新加坡宪法。

新加坡宪法第12条款保障法律面前人人平等,然而总检察署以足以致死的贩毒罪名提控杨伟光,却撤回就杨伟光的“老板”谢春林(译名,Chia Choon Leng)作出的提控,杨伟光的辩护律师拉维认为,这已侵犯了杨伟光的宪赋权利。

杨伟光的辩护律师拉维(M.Ravi,左图)以最近新加坡上诉庭在Ramalingam Ravinthran对垒PP的案件立下的先例指出,申请人可以提出初步证据,证明已经违反了宪法第12(1)条款。

根据新加坡网络媒体The Online Citizen的报道,总检察署已经鉴定谢春林是杨伟光涉身的犯罪集团的幕后主脑。副检察司回应拉维的问题时确认,谢春林确实在一宗杨伟光涉及的贩毒案中被逮捕。

另外,杨伟光曾向警方和法庭一再提及谢春林的名字。

检控团宣称证据不足

根据报道,高庭的审讯显示,谢春林主动联络杨伟光,让杨伟光(下图)帮他带“礼物”。杨伟光被捕时,这份“礼物”被查出含有47.27公克的海洛因,结果被判死刑。

然而,谢春林并没有被提控,只在《刑事法(暂时条款)》下被扣留。检控团告诉法庭,他们因证据不足而没有提控谢春林。

然而,杨伟光在其宣誓书中指出,他不记得检控团曾要求他协助提供跟谢春林有关的证据。

拉维认为,目前的证据已经足以质疑总检察署何以提控杨伟光,却放过罪行较重的一方;总检察署给的理由只是“证据不足”,然而“证据不足”的原因却是总检察署没有跟进供词。

他指出,一名罪行较轻的人被控以足以致命的严重的罪行,反之一名罪行较重的人却完全没有被提控,这跟公正的概念相悖。

==========================

Affidavits of Yong Vui Kong and Lawyer M Ravi filed in Court on 27/01/2012:

M Ravi’s affidavit (with exhibits)

Yong Vui Kong’s Affidavit

Notice of Motion- 27 Jan 2012

===========================

More Reports can be found here:

Yong’s case one of “unlawful discrimination”, says lawyer (Publichouse.Sg)

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Happy Birthday, Vui Kong!

 

Today (19 Jan 2012) is Yong Vui Kong’s 24th birthday. Last year, we marked Vui Kong’s 23rd birthday not knowing if he would live to celebrate another. However, thanks to his dedicated lawyers and the support of activists and the public, he can now live to see the dawn this Friday.

We are inviting the public to celebrate his birthday with him this year. Please write your wishes, thoughts and hopes for him and e-mail the messages to 2ndchance4yong@gmail.com. We will deliver them to Vui Kong through his lawyer M Ravi. If you permit, we will publish the wishes in our blog at http://2ndchance4yong.wordpress.com/

Yong Vui Kong, who hails from Sabah, was arrested in June 2007 for trafficking 47.27g of diamorphine in Singapore when he was 18. He was sentenced to death in January 2009 and now sits on death row. He has exhausted all legal proceedings and is presently awaiting the outcome of his final appeal for clemency which he submitted on 7 July last year to the President of Singapore.

Vui Kong had been born to an impoverished and broken family with his mother struggling to raise seven children alone after a divorce.  His case caught a lot of attention in Malaysia, Singapore and internationally. The Save Vui Kong Campaign initiated the “Give Life 2nd Chance” campaign in July 2010 and the public responded well to Vui Kong’s plea for clemency. In August 2010, his family submitted 109,346 petition signatures to the Istana asking for Vui Kong’s death sentence to be commuted to life imprisonment.

Vui Kong has proven himself in prison by turning over a new leaf. He has repented and is remorseful. He has taken up Buddhism, and seeks to dedicate the rest of his life to counseling prisoners and alerting the public about the perils of drugs. Although the Singapore Court of Appeal has rejected the decision on his judicial review in April 2011, we will continue to do our very best to assist Vui Kong in seeking pardon from the Singapore President.

Pleading for his clemency does not mean that Vui Kong should escape the responsibility of the crime. However, Vui Kong is himself a victim of circumstances, and we strongly believe that we should not ignore the plight of the marginalized.

This is only the beginning of the debate on the death penalty. Research has shown that the death penalty is not an effective deterrent. There are many factors in the maintenance of public order. For example, professional police investigations and fair judicial system are crucial.

We also call the Malaysia Government to execute the resolution put forward in the Round Table Discussion at the Parliament last June 2011 to:

  1. Call for moratorium of the death penalty immediately
  2. Form a caucus to study and review the related legislative related to the mandatory death penalty.

The Save Vui Kong Campaign is refining its role and has formed a coalition with other organisations working on anti-death penalty issues. Besides giving attention to individual cases, we will also actively advocate the moratorium of the death penalty in Malaysia. We hope the collaboration will spawn various activities to educate and raise the awareness of the general public about capital punishment.

Save Vui Kong Campaign

“祝賀楊偉光24歲生日,呼籲立即暂停执行死刑”

今天1月19日,是杨伟光的24岁生日。想要献上生日祝福和寄语給杨伟光

的朋友,请传到:2ndchance4yong@gmail.com,并注明是否授权刊登,我们将张贴在本会的“SAVE VUI KONG 给杨伟光第二次机会”(http://2ndchance4yong.wordpress.com)网站,同时也将转寄给他的律师拉维(M.Ravi),送到杨伟光手中。

来自沙巴的杨伟光,在2008年因为运送47克海洛英到新加坡而被判死刑,经过多年上诉,都失败告终。杨伟光来自破碎家庭,年少无知犯法,引起马新社会关注,热烈响应本会于2010年发起的“给生命第二次机会”醒觉运动,签名连署求情书。

伟光在监狱里改过自新,立志将余生投入于辅导狱友及警惕群众有关于毒品的致命性危害。虽然新国最高法院三司上诉庭在2011年4月驳回杨伟光司法审核判决的上诉申请,我们接下来仍会付出最大努力,继续协助伟光寻求特赦。

我们为杨伟光请命,争取新加坡总統特赦,促请该国政府给予杨伟光第二个机会,并不代表他无须为运毒罪名受罚。杨伟光来自低下层社会,马来西亚和其他国家同样有着和他一样的死囚,我们坚持,在人权议题上,从来都不应忽视被主流社会所边缘化的群体。

关于死刑与生命权的辩论,只是一项开端,而非终点。我们认为,死刑与吓阻犯罪、降低犯罪率无直接关联。为维持社会治安,国家机关可施行其他政策来加强犯罪控制,如更有效的警政办案、更公平的司法程序等措施。

在此我们也要求大马政府尽快落实去年六月在国会举行“检讨强制性死刑”圆桌会议所达致的初步共识,以展开四项行动,包括要求政府立即暂停执行死刑以及建议组成国会特别遴选委员会全面检讨国内的强制死刑制度。

未来,本运动将转型、扩大组织结盟,除了持续追踪个案,也推动暂缓实施死刑,希望引导公民社会对此议题的深度关怀与严肃思辩。

杨伟光后援会

 

———————-

Related reports:

Sabahan on Singapore’s death row turns 24 today (The Borneo Post)

吁民写生日寄语予杨伟光   后援会促政府检讨死刑制 (獨立新聞在線)

后援会邀民众祝贺24岁生日    杨伟光感言:要令母亲骄傲 (當今大馬)

 

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Give Yong Vui Kong A Second Chance

by Teo Soh Lung on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 10:17am

 

Yong Vui Kong wrote in his petition for clemency: “I fully realise my mistake and I am truly repentant over my smuggling of drugs in the past. I have earnestly changed.”

The Death Penalty News Blog which featured Yong Vui Kong’s “last letter” written in July 2011 attracted more than a million page views.  Over 100,000 people have read and signed the petition for clemency. Many more who have been moved by his plight, have taken time to write to our president. Those concerned people came from all walks of life and of all ages.

Never before in the history of Singapore has a death row inmate received so much attention. Never before have so many videos and articles been published pleading for his life. Never before has the constitutionality of the death penalty been so ably argued in our courts than in the case of Yong Vui Kong. Never before has the death penalty been debated so extensively in our courts and in public. And never before has the presidential power to grant clemency been challenged and determined in our courts. There are many “never befores” in the case of Yong Vui Kong. Whether he lives or dies will have an impact on many of us, not least, the ministers and the president who ultimately will decide his fate.

When we turn the pages of our newspapers and chance upon a face of a person executed the day before, we hardly spare a thought about that person or how his family who had to collect his lifeless body in the morning will cope with his death. We don’t know the person and we don’t care. It is his family’s problem, not ours. But with so much having been written and filmed about Yong Vui Kong and his family, I doubt we will remain indifferent. How could we? He is a person we know but have not met.

Yong Vui Kong has been on  death row for more than 5 years. He was nearly executed  many times in the past and he understands more than anyone of us, how precious life is.

I am sure the young people who are preparing to celebrate Yong Vui Kong’s 24th birthday this Sunday, 15 January 2011  at Hong Lim Park will feel sad but at the same time they must also feel hopeful, that he will be given a second chance.  This is the second time that they are celebrating his birthday at the park. He is so near to them and yet so far away. If only he could be taken to Hong Lim for the celebration  for just a few hours.

Will Yong Vui Kong be given a second chance?

The Yellow Ribbon Project in Singapore was launched in 2004 by our former President, Mr S R Nathan.  Its mission is  “to engage the community in accepting ex-offenders and their families, giving them a second chance at life and to inspire a ripple effect of concerted community action to support ex-offenders and their families.” Mr Nathan said:

“Although they have made a mistake in life, they deserve a second chance. We all make mistakes, we all come out the better for it.”

Yes, from all accounts, Yong Vui Kong has repented his crime and has reformed. He has now come out “the better for it”. He is now a devout Buddhist and you can see that from his writings and drawings. He was nearly executed several times during the past 5 years. Some of us may know that just before a person is hanged, he is counselled, weighed and measured, photographed in his best clothes and if he agrees to donate his organs after death, he is medically examined and tested. Yong Vui Kong must have gone through all those tests several times and felt so close to death.  In his “last letter” he talked vividly about other death row inmates who at the dawn of death, became inconsolable.

The Yellow Ribbon Project believes that “HOPE CAN ONLY RESTART IF WE GIVE THEM A SECOND CHANCE.” Yong Vui Kong was not given a second chance before. When during his trial the High Court judge, out of compassion, suggested to the prosecutor  to give him a chance because of his young age (he was then 18 years old), the prosecutor declined to do so. It saddens me that the prosecutor had such a hard view on his case and I wonder what was the reason since Yong Vui  Kong was a first time offender and this fact alone would have been a very importantl consideration for reducing a charge to a lesser offence.

Yong Vui Kong’s birthday will be celebrated with sadness this Sunday.  But that sadness will not be without hope – the  hope  that  our ministers will be compassionate and merciful, that they will grant the clemency petition of Yong Vui Kong and our president will announce his pardon before the Lunar New Year.  Even though I have not met Yong Vui Kong, I am confident that given a second chance, he will make good the remainder of his life. From his writings, drawings and his faith,  he will inspire our young. Like Glenn Lim who is now a leader and a motivational speaker, Yong Vui Kong will be an excellent motivational speaker and a leader too. He may also be a great religious teacher, having gone through the most harrowing experience of living in the dark shadow of death and having embraced Buddhism. He will be a great asset to our society and his contributions will be tremendous. Yes, I have faith that this young man will do our country proud if given a second chance.

Teo Soh Lung

Note:

At Hong Lim Park on Sunday, 15 January 2012 at 4 p.m. Give Life A Second Chance activists celebrate Yong Vui Kong’s 24th birthday. If you can spare the time, do join in the celebration. If not, do spend a minute in silence for him on that day. Thank you.

Other posts on Vui Kong Birthday

Vui Kong – the turning point? by Andrew Loh

Happy Birthday, Vui Kong by Rachael Zeng

No logic in death – Happy 24th Birthday Vui Kong

Photos on 15th Jan 2012 events

Posted in Features / Articles, VK Birthday | Tagged | Leave a comment

Birthday Wishes for Vui Kong

Tomorrow (19 Jan 2012) will be Vui Kong 24th birthday. Last year, we marked Vui Kong’s 23rd birthday not knowing if he would live to celebrate another. However, thanks to his dedicated lawyers and the support of activists and the public, he can now live to see the dawn this Friday.

We are inviting the public to celebrate his birthday with him this year. Please write your wishes, thoughts and hopes for him and e-mail the messages to 2ndchance4yong@gmail.com. We will deliver them to Vui Kong through his lawyer M Ravi.

If you permit, we will publish the wishes in our blog here.

Thanks,

Save Vui Kong Campaign (18/1/2012)

Posted in Campaign, VK Birthday | 3 Comments

Dear Vui Kong, Happy Birthday

On 15 Jan 2012, a group of supporters gathered in Speaker Corner Singapore to celebrate Vui Kong's 24th birthday

Dear Vui Kong,

Your story has touched us all and we have you in our thoughts. We are all gathered here today to celebrate your birthday. But we are also here to remember your life and what you have done, the good and the bad.

Vui Kong, no one here denies that you have made a mistake in life. It is a mistake that is grave, and it has probably affected the lives of others in ways that we cannot imagine.

But we simply cannot accept that the punishment you deserve is death.

Many who do not understand our cause will think that we are advocating for your release. That cannot be any more untrue. The second chance that we want your to have is a second chance at making things right. What can be better if you can help us prevent many others from stepping down the same path as you did. What better way to solve the drug problem than to educate, and to make people aware. This you have promised to do. And we want to help you fulfil that promise.

To those who think that executing you, and the many others on death row, would help solve the drug problem, we can only hope that they can place themselves in your position, and realise the difficulties you faced which eventually led you to make that horrible mistake. If they could only know you and your story, maybe they will change their minds , maybe they will think again.

Its is a difficult road to go through, but we are all behind you.

We also want you to know that your love for your mother has touched us all. Vui Kong, do not worry, we have her in our thoughts as well.

Happy birthday Vui Kong.

Original post : We Believed in 2nd Chances

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Photos Presentation and Talks by Toshi Kazama

“An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” and “to forgive is divine”. These extremes represent the different poles of public opinion which Toshi Kazama will attempt to bridge.

The Civil Rights Committee of KLSCAH and Amnesty International Malaysia have jointly collaborated over the past month to advocate for the abolition of the Death Penalty in Malaysia. This collaboration has spawned various activities to raise awareness and educate the general public on the controversial issue on whether or not the death penalty should be retained.

To conclude the month of activities, we are honoured to bring you Mr. Toshi Kazama to share his experiences and views on this issue.

Toshi is a photographer and anti Death Penalty Activist. He is also the founder of Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights, an NGO which brings together the families of victims and of executed inmates. We generally assume that family members of brutal crimes invariably favour the death penalty as a means of achieving justice and closure for their pain and suffering. The members of this NGO will testify otherwise. Many members of murder victims’ families have come forward to share their stories and voice out their opposition to the death penalty.

Civil Rights Committee of KLSCAH and Amnesty International Malaysia cordially invite you to join us at the following events:-

“Young Death Rows”
a photo presentation by Toshi Kazama

Date :           23/10/2011 (Sunday)
Time :          5pm – 730pm
Venue:         Palate Palette Café
Address:      No 21, Jalan Mesui Off Jalan Nagasari, 50200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel:               03-2142 2148

Program:
5.00pm:         Arrival of Guests.
5.15pm:         Presentations by the winner of AIM Photography Contest
5.35pm:         Photo presentation by Toshi Kazama
6.35pm:         Question and Answer
7.35pm:         End

“Death Penalty: Does he/she deserve it?
A perspective from the victim’s family”

Talk by Toshi Kazama, Moderator: Yap Sau Bin

Date:               25/10/2011 (Tuesday)
Time:              8pm – 930pm
Venue :           Kuala Lumpur & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall
Address:         No 1, Jalan Maharajalela, 50150 Kuala Lumpur
Tel:                  03-2274 6645

Program:
8.00pm:            Talk by Toshi Kazama, Moderator: Yap Sau Bin
8.45pm:            Question and Answer
9.30pm:            End

Biodata : Toshi Kazama

The Japanese-born Toshi uses his camera as a means to oppose the death penalty. He is best known for his project “Juveniles of Death Row: A Documentary Exploration” where he portray juvenile offenders on death row. His project, which spanned eight years, includes getting to know the offenders’ families, as well as the families of their victims and the prison officials. All of Toshi’s artworks focus on the value of human life and respect for each other, showing the reality of the death penalty through his photos and experiences.  Toshi has toured the world sharing these photographs and his experiences.

風間聰简介】美籍日裔的風間聰,是一位專業攝影師,多次巡迴亞洲展覽他的作品與演講,風間聰近年來更致力於推動亞洲的被害人保護運動及草根串聯。

自1996年起,風間聰以青少年死囚為主題,進行長達八年的拍攝計畫,走遍全美監獄,拍攝二十多位青少年死囚的照片。在那些年輕臉孔背後,他瞭解體會他們的成長背景與環境,看到貧窮、破碎家庭及冤錯;犯罪跟清白只在一線之間,而死刑更顯得荒謬無理。同時他拍攝電椅、藥物注射台等行刑器具,呈現了死刑無可開脫的殘忍,也還拍攝許多受害者家屬,在他們身上看到,死刑無法平撫仇恨,並且在死刑之外,社會為他們做得卻如此之少。

Moderator : Yap Sau Bin

Yap was born in Kuala Lumpur, and lives and works there now. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art degree from the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, England in 1998. He is currently a lecturer at the Faculty of Creative Multimedia, Multimedia University, Malaysia. Yap is also a founding member of Rumah Air Panas Art Society [RAP], an artist collective based in Kuala Lumpur.

His art practice encompasses conceptual work, installations, mapping projects, collaborations, performance and sporadic writings. He had received awards in the Young Contemporaries Arts Award by the National Art Gallery in 2000 and 2002, and has been selected for research residency in Japan under the JENESYS Programme for Creators by the Japan Foundation in 2008.

叶绍斌简介】1974年生于吉隆坡,森美兰州芙蓉成长,为吉隆坡Rumah Air Panas 艺术家自主空间创办会员之一。英国伯明翰美术与设计学院毕业的他,目前任教于多媒体大学创意多媒体系,曾在2000年及2002年二度荣获国家画廊主办的“当代青年艺术家奖”。绍斌酷好哲学,打从青涩年华便不由自主地堕入爱智慧的痛苦深渊里,视德里达之解构理论为其个人思想原乡;他的言说之中,若非大处留白,则是玄意幽远,犹如一幅灵韵生动的水墨画,既自然流露,也发人深省。

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