Malaysia govt to appeal to S’pore for clemency in Yong’s sentence

Loh Foon Fong & Joshua Foong
The Star

Foreign Minister Datuk Anifah Aman said his ministry would write to the Singapore government to plead for clemency in the case of Sabahan Yong Vui Kong, who was sentenced to death last year for drug trafficking.

On when he would write to the Singapore government, Anifah said he would wait for the legal arguments to be prepared first on why Yong’s life should be spared.

“We sympathise with what had transpired and will do everything possible within our powers or diplomatic means to solve the problem,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby Monday.

Yong, 22, was convicted on Jan 7 last year after he was arrested on June 13, 2007 for trafficking 47gm of diamorphine, an offence under the Singaporean Misuse of Drugs Act.

On whether the Government would appeal for Yong to be brought back to be imprisoned here, Anifah said the focus was to get clemency first.

Meanwhile, Batu MP Tian Chua said he and his lawyers had given Anifah the case background when they met and were grateful the minister not only agreed to meet them but also brought along with him international law experts to discuss how best to help Yong.

Yong’s Singaporean lawyer M. Ravi said they would be filing for a judicial review action this week to challenge the Law Minister K. Shanmugam’s announcement that Yong would not be spared the death penalty, even before the Court of Appeal delivered its judgment and before they could file for clemency.

Ravi had brought Yong’s plight to Parliament Monday in a desperate attempt to seek help from the Malaysian government to save Yong before he was executed.

Last year, Yong filed a petition with the president for clemency but it was rejected on Dec 1.

Ravi also said the case could be taken to the International Court of Justice if all avenues were exhausted.