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Joseph Kaos Jr
The Malay Mail
Yong Vui Kong, the 22-year-old Malaysian who is facing the gallows in Singapore for drug trafficking, has received more support from his countrymen today – with Dewan Negara senators backing a campaign to plead for Yong’s clemency from Singapore President Sellapan Ramanathan.
At a Press conference in Parliament lobby this morning, Opposition senators Syed Husin Ali and Datuk Mustafa Kamal Mohd Yusoff of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), as well as Democratic Action Party’s Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim and S. Ramakrishnan, urged the public to support the newly-launched ‘Save Vui Kong Campaign’ (SVKC).
SVKC is a petition campaign seeking to gain as many signatures as possible from Malaysia’s elected representatives and the general public by Aug 23, as Aug 26 would be the final day for Yong to petition for clemency.
“Ever since young Vui Kong was convicted four years ago, he has repented and radically transformed to be a good person. It will be a tragedy for Vui Kong if he had to be hanged for a mistake he had made,” said Syed Husin, who is also PKR deputy president.
“We want him to be given another chance to contribute to society. We urge Singapore to provide clemency for Vui Kong,” he added.
Earlier this month, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Amah had said the government will do everything its power to lobby for Vui Kong’s clemency.
“If I save one life, it will give me great satisfaction,” the minister had said.
Also present at the news conference was Ngeow Chow Ying, the coordinator for SVKC. She said plea cards will be given to all 222 Dewan Rakyat members, 69 sitting senators and 60 Sabah state assemblymen for it to be signed.
Ngeow, who is from the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall Civil Rights Committee, added that members of the public can endorse the petition by going to http://www.petitiononline.com/SaveVK/petition.html
An 18-year-old Yong was arrested by Singapore police on June 13, 2007 at Orchard Road. He was charged for trafficking 47 grammes of diamorphine into the island republic, which the only sentence for it is the death penalty.
He was sentenced last November and was to be hanged the following month, but his lawyer M. Ravi successfully sought a stay of execution from the High Court there.
Yong’s appeal against the death penalty was dismissed by the Court of Appeal in May, and his fate now solely lies in the hands of the Singapore president.