by Lawrence Shim , July 23, 2010, Friday (The Borneo Post)
SANDAKAN: The Save Vui Kong signature campaign, carried out nationwide in Malaysia and Singapore, 100,000 nationwide and Singapore by August 20 was launched here yesterday calling upon elected representatives and members of the public to plead to His Excellency Singapore President Sellapan Ramanathan to grant clemency to death convict Yong Vui Kong.
Wong (right) receives the signature campaign forms from Ravi as Chua (third left), Ngeow (left), Poon (second right) and others look on.
Tawau member of parliament Datuk Chua Soon Bui said that the it is not just for Vui Kong that we are persuading, it is an awareness and concern for our society, our future generations, in Sabah.
“Counsel Ravi from Singapore came to parliament to visit Foreign Minister Datuk Anifah Aman who promised to appeal for clemency. I also appeal to the State Government to intervene and lend its support towards the clemency,” said Chua in a press conference yesterday.
Chua also said that she was touched by the spirit and love shown by the Singapore NGOs and people especially Ravi, irrespective of boundary, cultural, religious and Vui Kong personal and family background enable us to come forward to unite together to so something special for Vui Kong. They even sponsored the airfares for the family to visit Vui Kong in Singapore. Ravi also provides free service.
“We are here today in a special bonding for a special mission. Being a Sabahan, I urge my fellow Sabahans/Malaysians in Sabah especially those here in Sandakan to extend our support on “Save Vui Kong” signature campaign,” said Chua.
She said that it is not just for Vui Kong that we are persuading, it is an awareness exercise and concern for our society, our future generations in Sabah.
“With Sabah, the poorest state in Malaysia, many young people who are deprived of education, due to poverty or women in hardship might be target and vulnerable to drugs or human trafficking,” added Chua.
Ravi disclosed that may be hanged anytime after this August 26 if his plea for clemency is rejected. Unfortunately, his right of to seek clemency under the Singapore’s Constitution has been compromised by statement of the Hon.Minister of Law K.Shanmugan.
Even before his clemency plea if officially filed, Shanmugan was quoted to have told the press: “Yong Vui Kong (who was sentenced to hang for trafficking in 47 grammes of a controlled drug, diamorphine) is young. But if we say, ‘We let you go’, what’s the signal we’re sending? We’re sending a signal to all drugs barons out there: Just make sure you choose a victim who’s young or a mother of a young child and use them as the people to carry drugs into Singapore,”
The real signal Singapore is sending should Vui Kong be pardoned is exactly the opposite to what Shanmugan has second guessed.
Vui Kong is a completely changed person after his arrest. He has found his spiritual salvation in Buddhism and vowed to use his remaining days to counsel lost souls like he once was and to campaign against drug-trafficking and drug abuse.
Vui Kong who just want to redeem his past sins is actually an unrecognized ally of the Singapore Government in the latter’s anti-drug campaign. Executing him will not stop the next drug trafficking, just like the execution of previous traffickers did not stop Vui Kong, who was illiterate and did not know even about the death penalty.
Keeping Vui Kong alive may however may. He will do whatever he can to get his message of regret and redemption out to many lives and saving them from drugs.
The Save Vui Kong Campaign is co-sponsored by the Civil Rights Committee of the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (CRC-KLSCAH) and Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) and supported by friendly civil society groups.
On June 13, 2007, Yong was arrested at midnight within the vicinity of Meritus Mandarin Hotel at Orchard Road. He was 18 years and 6 months old then.
Yong was subsequently charged for the offence of trafficking by transporting 47.27 grammes of diamorphine in two packets found in a Malaysian registered car MBK 5317 at the time of his arrest.
Last year, Yong filed a petition to the Singapore president for clemency but it was rejected on Dec 1.
Also present were CRC-KLSCAH’s representative Ngeow Chow Ling, local community leaders Stephen Wong, Poon Kee Yong and representatives from 20 NGOs supporting the signature campaign.
22 July 2010, Source : The Online Citizen
Malaysian politicians and activists have started the campaign to save 22-year old Vui Kong from the death sentence in Singapore. The event kicked off with a press conference held in Sandakan, Sabah, the hometown of Vui Kong. Sabah Member of Parliament, Datuk Chua Soon Bui, and Vui Kong’s lawyer, Mr M Ravi, were present to lend support to the campaign. So were Vui Kong’s younger sister, Vui Fung, and older brother, Yun Leong, as well as dozens of relatives and supporters.
Datuk Chua said: ”This campaign is for humanity. It is above politics. We appeal to the state government to intervene and support us.”
Datuk Chua also pointed out that Yong can give back to society by reaching out to young people who might be vulnerable to drug traffickers. Rather than kill him, he should be allowed to repent and share his story.
Campaigners will hit the streets of Sandakan tomorrow (23 July, Friday) to appeal to the public to support their cause. They hope to collect 100,000 signatures by August 23. (To sign the petition, please click here.)
Vui Kong has until 26 August 2010 to file an appeal for clemency with the Singapore president. As there is only about a month before the deadline for the clemency appeal, TOC will carry news and reports of the campaign as and when they happen.
Here are some pictures from Sabah of the press conference in Sabah on Thursday.
Here are some news reports related to the launching of the 2nd Chance Campaign:
Malaysiakini: Wanted: 100,000 signatures to save Vui Kong
Interceder: News on Vui Kong
Klik4Malaysia: Campaign Launched for Vui Kong Second Chance
Malaysian Insider: NGOs appeal for Sabah boy on Singapore death row
New Straits Times: Support for clemency