当时，我的律师告诉我接下来就必须提出上诉。当时我已经学佛了，我知道佛教说不可以欺骗人。我真的以为上诉就是要我说骗话，要我在法庭上否认有罪。我不想这 么做，因为我知道我是做错事了，最后我选择了放弃上诉。如果我们欺骗别人，我们虽然可以逃离死劫，但是到我们去世时，我们会受到地狱之苦；这不是很痛苦 吗？
律师跟我解释说，我可以要求特赦，把死刑改去无期徒刑。这样我就可以在监狱里读佛书，也可以常常见到运良。但我听说，很多人因为这件事而吵架，我不希望这 样。我努力学习英文，读我的案件，因为我想知道新加坡的法律是个怎样的事情。后来我领悟到一点，就是“法律是人制造出来的，既然人制造法律，人也可以改变 法律，比如一些死刑的法律。”
English Translation : The Fifth Letter – Honesty in Law
Yetian, I am counting down my letters with you. This is the fifth letter, so I can still send out seven letters. I have seven more chances to put my feelings into words, to thank everyone for taking time out of their busy lives to help me and Yun Leong, and for letting me write down my thoughts. Thank you all.
In this fifth letter, there is a lot that I want to say. A country becomes successful because of very good leaders, very good laws and very good citizens.
Just like our country, because we have decent leaders, and we have laws, the most important thing is that we have very good citizens. Without such kind-hearted citizens, no one would know about my case.
When a person makes a mistake he will have to be punished, and we need to follow the law. I made a mistake in Singapore, and so they want me to be punished by law. I feel that this is justified, as they are following the law of a good country.
I have told you before that I was very afraid of being executed. When I heard the judge say that I had to face death by hanging, I was very scared and didn’t know what to do!
At the time, my lawyer told me that I would have to make an appeal. I was already studying Buddhism then, and I knew that in Buddhism, lying to others was not allowed. I really believed that appealing meant that I will have to lie and deny my guilt in court. I didn’t want to do that because I know I have done wrong. Therefore, I finally decided to withdraw my appeal.
If we are untruthful to others, we might be able to escape death, but when we do die, we will be punished in Hell: isn’t that even more painful?
Later, my brother, Yun Leong, helped me to engage a new lawyer (M. Ravi). He said that it was very important to appeal my case. At the time I did not really understand what he meant, so he explained a lot about matters regarding the death penalty and the law to me, and I let him do as he saw fit.
My lawyer explained to me that I could ask for clemency, and commute my death sentence into life imprisonment. This way, I can stay inside the prison and study Buddhist scriptures, and also see Yun Leong & family regularly. However, I have heard that many people are quarreling over this matter. I do not wish for it to be like this.
I am working hard to learn English and to read my case, because I want to know more about the law in Singapore.
Afterwards, I finally understood one point – laws are made by human beings. Since we made the laws, we can also change them: including the laws regarding the death penalty.
Yetian, you told me that our Home Affairs Minister and de-factor Law Minister publicly agreed to consider abolish the death penalty, but they have yet to take any action. This might be because they are busy with other national affairs. However, I believe that as high-ranking officials they will definitely fulfill their promises.
I think I must use the mentality of the death row inmate to understand the potential death row inmate in the future. I am reminded of my fellow inmate, who was forcibly dragged out for execution, and I am pained, because he did not have enough time to mature. I wonder, did he really have to die?
I wrote many letters, but Yun Leong said that he has only received a few. Maybe many of the letters were stopped by the prison authorities and not allowed to be sent out. Maybe they are being very careful with my letters due to the international attention of my case and many other death penalty cases in lawful Singapore have received; but I can honestly tell everyone that my letters contain nothing but my feelings, and I hope that my family, brothers and sisters can continue reading my letters.
Before I end, I advise everyone who has the opportunity to come into contact with a religion, do study the religious faith seriously. After becoming a Buddhist, I understood that lying is a very serious matter, so I do not lie and I’m telling everyone my story honestly. I hope that Singapore can hear my story too.
Even if my case does not look optimistic, there may be many more cases in the future. Isn’t prevention very important?
This letter will be published just one day after Vesak Day, right? Even though it has passed, I hope to wish everyone a happy Vesak Day, and to wish everyone health, peace and happiness!
Yetian, I give thanks to you.
Note from Yetian
Vui Kong’s case is a very important judicial case study. Only two countries in the Commonwealth carry out the mandatory death penalty; how does this benefit Malaysia and Singapore? This is something that we must consider very carefully.
If the death penalty can save people and prevent drug trafficking, then why is it that while we are executing people, the number of drug offences continue to rise? This is something we must think about as well.
There are many things which have to be considered in many aspects. We cannot stubbornly insist on doing things the same way!
Vui Kong has also mentioned that many of his letters were confiscated by the prison. Previous letters were written via Yun Leong through his visits in prison.