Let Vui Kong live, he deserves a second chance

‘It is sad that young drug mules are the ones hanged, when not even one of those drug lords has ever been caught.’

Responsed to Vui Kong Letter published on 22/4/2011, Malaysikinian comments (click here to read the letter):

Zz2XX: Prison is all about reform and I don’t how executing someone will reform anyone. Yong Vui Kong, and before him Van Tuong Nguyen (hanged in 2005), have repented for what they have done.

Sadly Vui Kong will be hanged even though he has reformed. We are now living in 2011 and not 1511, I cannot understand why the death sentence is still being used. Throughout human history has the death sentence solve/reduce any crime?

Vui Kong was a teenager when he committed his offence so he truly deserve to be given a chance to live. Let him spend his life behind bars for what he did.

It is sad that young drug mules are the ones hanged, but not even one of those drug lords who supply them with the drug to traffic has ever been caught and hanged.

DontPlayGod: I know the law says everyone must pay for his crime, but we must also take into account Yong’s age and his upbringing, which was an upbringing devoid of parental and societal guidance as he had left home at a young age.

Mr Singapore President, he was young and had no guidance and no love. He should be given another chance as he has truly repented.

Soul: I believe everything happens for a reason. Drug trafficking is wrong and anyone caught deserved to be punished as it destroys lives. But if the person has repent and has chosen an enlightened way of life, what good will it do by condemning him to death? What are we trying to prove here?

If releasing Yong is out of question, hopefully a life sentence of doing community service can be taken into consideration. It will give him the opportunity to guide others who has chosen the wrong path. There are so many people out there who are lost and misguided. I guess that is what is meant to be…

K Raveendran Nair: At the age of 19, Yong definitely knew nothing about the law. While he is facing the death row, his handler is enjoying his life of luxury derived from drug money. He deserve the second chance and people shall rise to say no to death penalty.

Myop101: As much as we want to free this young man who have repented, one must not forget that drug abuse brought death to many people. It is drug mules like Yong Vui Kong that keep the trade going. Unlike Yong who have an avenue to share his story, many drug addicts out there died without having their stories told.

We know he is young and reckless (aren’t we all young once) but he will not be the last. The question we should ask ourselves is, when do we let go and treat a person as an adult and be responsible for his actions?

The penalty is harsh but how do the state or the community explain to the parents, siblings, spouses, children, relatives and friends when their loved ones die from drug abuse? It is not a perfect deterrent tool but mandatory death sentence do strike fear in the hearts of many.

I feel really sad when those like Yong has to die for their crimes but there is only so much we can say or do if we look at the other untold stories.

Docs: Sad. Especially when you think that lesser humans have committed hideous crimes, slip through the grasps of the justice system but here we have a person that has the full weight of the justice system placed on him for committing a crime of lesser value.

But then again, life was not meant to be fair. I don’t condone the death sentence as my personal belief is that the “no man has the right to take the life of another”. For example, if a person murders another person intentionally, he is sentenced to death by the state as punishment for taking one’s life.

So who is going to judge the state for taking a life when Yong has not “killed” another?

Loyal Malaysian: The Singapore and Malaysian drug laws are based on the use of power of fear to deter other potential drug pushers. That Yong has lost his final appeal is not a surprise. Let’s hope he will be granted clemency.

But it is heart-warming to read the changes in him and how he has internalised the Buddhist teachings he has been exposed to. Yes, we have man-made laws but there are also universal laws that all of us are subject to, whether we believe in them or not.

Ong Guan Sin: I fought back my tears reading this on a Good Friday weekend in Singapore. I imagine Vui Kong himself is not aware that he is in the process of saving more lives by highlighting the very cruelty of death penalty.

We are part of the society which think it is okay to take away life of those who committed to serious crimes, when in this case it vividly highlights that we are killing the vulnerable who are exploited by shadowy masterminds. A death for a death has no place in any modern society. Stop the killing.

Changeagent: Mr Singapore President, please consider the fact that this young man was only 19 when he committed the crime. But by all accounts, he is now wiser and would be very unlikely to re-offend. I am sure the prison wardens would vouch for his changed and reformed character.

Before you say, ‘rules are rules’, understand that rules are man-made and can always be reversed so long as there is genuine regret and true contrition. As Kuchikoo said, don’t play God, lest you be judged yourself.

GO4CHANGE: Death sentence is not cruel when we have put ourselves in the shoes of the victims of the perpetrators. It is just a necessary evil to prevent human evil behaviour. This should serve as a good warning to watch your children from the day they were born until you breathe your last.

Maintain strong ties within the family to keep communication lines open and prevent agony stories like this from happening. May God bless Vui kong for his repented life.

Don’tLeaveName: I am lost of words and have only tears for VK (Vui Kong). To Mr President, please give VK a second chance. He is a role model to other inmates there and he is an asset by guiding other inmates to take the right path. To VK, God is with you all the way. We pray for you.

Geronimo: As adults, we too have many failings in our lives. What’s more if you are 19 when you are not wise to the world as yet. At 19, we are subject to peer pressure and when you are caught in a “too old to be young and too young to be old” time space, it puts us in a confused state.

Parents can only do that much bringing up a child, but when that child reaches 19, how much more can the parents control and discipline him? So for this very young man, there was a slip-up in his life, but does it mean he has to pay with his life? It is fine that a law is meant to be followed to the “t”, but what about compassion?

If the person is above 21 (adulthood that is), I don’t think many people bothered. Perhaps the Singapore government should reconsider that since he was caught with the pending act of destroying lives, why not sentence him to community service for a period of time to re-build the lives of some unfortunates?

Such rehabilitation would be a much better option than the hangman’s noose.

Raveen: By embracing forgiveness, you embrace peace, hope, gratitude and joy. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you deny the other person’s responsibility for hurting you, and it doesn’t minimise or justify the wrong.

You can forgive the person without excusing the act. Forgiveness brings a kind of peace that helps you go on with life. Death penalty only removes forgiveness from our soul.

Mc Farland: I felt so sorry for this young man. I can’t help my tears from flowing as I can relate to so many young people who are also misguided these days. Just look at the school gangsterism that is happening around us.

This young man should be given a second chance. He has learnt his lesson well and should do very well to educate other young people. Let’s pray for forgiveness all round.

Bhajnik Singh: I do not know what caused this young man to follow the path he had taken but whatever the reason, it is wrong to have done what he did. The law of the land, however harsh, must be respected.

Many offenders repent and search for enlightenment in the confines of their cells. I believe from what I read, he has. To those who have the power to save his life I ask you, “What good will come from his execution as opposed to what good he will do to contribute and rehabilitate the lost souls in your prisons”. To forgive is divine.

MyMsia:Dear Mr President, the society at large should share the guilt for what he did. I beg you, Mr President, to show mercy for this child.

The above is a selection of comments posted by Malaysiakini subscribers. Link : http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/162242

About givelife2ndchance

Give Life 2nd Chance is a movement dedicated to work on abolish death penalty in Malaysia.
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