SVKV Press Statement
August 17, 2010
Malaysia Government must prepare to take Yong’s case to International Court of Justice
The Save Vui Kong Campaign (SVKC) calls upon Foreign Minister YB Anifah Aman to step up his ministry’s effort to protect the right of Malaysian citizen Yong Vui Kong in Singapore.
Malaysia has successfully lobbied China in 2008 for a Universiti Sabah Malaysia graduate Umi Azlim Mohamad Lazim, 24, to have her death penalty commuted to life term.
We expect the Malaysian Government to put in equally vigorous effort for Yong, 22, whose case for clemency has been ruled out by the minister even before the plea was filed.
His injustice has just been reinforced by the Singapore High Court’s decision that the Cabinet and not the President decides on clemency plea.
The Malaysian government must therefore be prepared to take all possible steps including filing complaint at the International Court of Justice and asking for a stay of execution.
Singapore High Court’s Decision Reinforces Injustice for Vui Kong
It is a right of every person facing death penalty to have a fair and impartial clemency process.
However, we believe that Yong’s right to a fair and impartial clemency process had been violated, on the following reasons:-
(1) the Honorable Law Minister of Singapore Mr K Shunmugan has publicly made a statement, specifically named Yong Vui Kong and that he should not be spared of his life (The Law Minister said this on 9.5.2010 ““Yong Vui Kong, (who was sentenced to hang for trafficking 47g of Heroin) he is young. But if we say we let you go what’s the signal we’re sending? We’re sending a signal to all drug 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. With the sympathy generated after these people are caught he added, there will be a whole unstoppable stream of people coming through as long as we won’t enforce our laws). This is not a statement pertaining to the general anti-drug policy of Singapore, but a statement directed to Yong’s clemency;
(2) the Honorable Law Minister of Singapore Mr K Shunmugan made the above statement before Yong filed his clemency petition. The rejection of Yong’s first clemency petition in November 2009 shall not in any way be deemed that Yong’s second clemency petition, which has yet to be filed and heard, will be rejected. Yong’s right to be heard must be upheld and due process must be adhered to.
(3) the recent decision of the Singapore High Court which ruled that the President does not have discretion on clemency but must act on the advise of the Cabinet reinforces the argument above, that the Cabinet had made a decision on Yong’s clemency before Yong is heard.
Foreign Minister Promised “Everything Possible”
We appreciate the pledge by YB Anifah Aman on July 5 in the Parliament lobby that Malaysian government “will do everything possible within its power” to seek clemency for Yong. Malaysia government had indeed successfully pleaded for clemency for Umi Azlim Mohamad Lazim, also convicted and sentenced to death on drug trafficking in China.
However, besides seeking clemency, we trust that “everything possible” includes the preparation of the Malaysia government to file a complaint to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and/or a diplomat note of objection on the violation of Yong’s right to a fair and impartial clemency proceeding, especially after the High Court’s decision
SVKC believes that the Malaysia government has an obligation to protect the legitimate rights of its citizens residing abroad regardless of the circumstances.
SVKC stresses that the matter requires YB Anifah Aman’s urgent attention as the deadline for Yong’s clemency plea is August 26, 2010.
We urge the Malaysia government to:-
(i) take immediate actions to protect Yong’s right to a fair and impartial clemency proceeding, including preparation to file a complaint to the International Court of Justice and/or a diplomatic note of objection based on the remarks made by the Honorable Law Minister of Singapore;
(ii) take immediate actions to stay the execution at the International Court of Justice until the issue on the violation of Yong’s right to a fair and impartial clemency proceeding is resolved;
(iii) send a legal team to observe the proceeding of Yong’s appeal on the decision of the High Court rejecting his application for judicial review;
(iv) step up all efforts on the plea for Yong’ clemency.
We, as fellow citizens of Malaysia, expect the Malaysian government to respond and reply promptly to this call.
Save Vui Kong Campaign Malaysia
谢仲洋 2010年8月17日 下午 3点51分 (当今大马）