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Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Death Penalty

Today I attended the world day against the death penalty forum organised by a group of activist
against the Death Penalty.

Though 139 states around the world had abolished Death Penalty, Singapore is not. Drug trafficking to a minimum gms is a death penalty. Through the years many mules and drug traffickers were caught in Singapore. They were all hanged. The mandatory death sentence for
drug trafficking is death above the minimum amount.

Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand being the crossroad to the Golden Triangle where most of the drugs are produced cannot afford to do away with the death penalty for drug trafficking. It acts as a deterrent to would-be drug traffickers to face the consequent of death if they do. It also acts as a psychological factor of sort.

Even with the mandatory death sentence, many people still try their luck to traffic drugs as
a transit point to other countries. Some landed here. What about those who were not caught and brisked through the customs?

The forum was an emotionally charged, appeal for the abolition of the death penalty. One speaker that stood out was Alex Hu, articulated and at times injected some humour into the otherwise sombre proceedings. A social worker also spoke up against the death penalty and appealed to the President to commute the death penalty on Yong Vui Kong, facing the gallows to life imprisonment. The last appeal to the President S R Nathan for clemency.

A young man, Yong Vui Kong, age 21, first offender, is facing death. His family is in Malaysia.
The social stigma and the agony of death facing the young man and his family is heart-shattering. His elder brother Yong Yun Leong spoke and also appealed to the people of Singapore and the President for clemency.

Life is only lived once. When a second chance is not given to a wrongdoing, especially a death penalty, there is no way to ascertain how remorseful a people is because he is already dead.
As it is Yong Vui Kong, is "thoroughly enlightened and abstained from fish and meat and chanted Buddhist scriptures. He is now completely different from the naive and ignorant person" as spoken by his brother Yong Yun Leong. No one knows Yong Vui Kong better than his brother, especially now facing the tragic moment of death anytime.

Buddhism is a compassionate and benevolent practising religion. One of the precepts of Buddhism is to abstain from killing any living beings. Cultivate morality in the process.

I sincerely appeal to the President as a citizen of Singapore, on behalf of YongVui Kong to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment. He is a young man of only 21 year old, full of life, remorseful and if given a second chance will do society well with a dead man walking alive
because a SECOND CHANCE is given for him to live again a life of true meaning.

Nothing is of significance if you are dead. His traumatic death experience may also bring life to others.

Please let Yong Vui Kong live.

patrick lee s juan