Yong Vui Kong’s death sentence “should stand”, the Principal Private Secretary (PPS) to President Nathan said in a letter from the Istana. In a one-sentence response to the petition for clemency for Yong, which was sent to the President a month ago by members of the Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign (SADPC), the President’s PPS said:
“I am directed to refer to the petition for clemency of Yong Vui Kong and to inform you that the President, after due consideration of the petition and on advice of the Cabinet, has decided that the sentence of death should stand.”
Yong, a Malaysian and who was 19 when he was arrested, was sentenced to death in January 2009 for trafficking 47g of heroin into Singapore in June 2008. He was convicted under the Misuse of Drugs Act which carries a mandatory death sentence for anyone caught trafficking more than 15gm of heroin, 30gm of cocaine or 500gm of cannabis.
All three of Yong’s appeals have now been rejected.
In a statement in response to the President’s rejection of the appeal, members of the SADPC say Yong is expected to be hanged the week after next. Yong has also agreed to donate his organs, the SADPC statement says.
Yong’s lawyer, Mr M Ravi, faced some difficulties with the Singapore Prison Service in gaining access to his client last week. However, his application to see Yong has now been approved and he is expected to visit Yong in the forthcoming week.
Singapore has one of the highest rates of State-sanctioned executions in the world. Anti-Death Penalty campaigners and Human Rights activists, both here and abroad, have highlighted the shortcomings in the law and in the procedures in determining guilt.
The Singapore government, however, has always stood by its stand that capital punishment is a deterrent, for example, to drug traffickers.
The following is a statement from the SADPC.
The President has responded to the petition for clemency of Yong Vui Kong sent in by the Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign (SADPC) through his Principal Private Secretary Mr Tan Eng Beng.
“I am directed to refer to the petition for clemency of Yong Vui Kong and to inform you that the President, after due consideration of the petition and on the advice of the Cabinet, has decided that the sentence of death should stand.”
According to the date stated on the letter, the statement was issued on 20 November 2009. M Ravi, lawyer for Yong and co-campaigner of the SADPC, received the letter on 26 November 2009.
Yong has also signed a document agreeing to donate his organs.
Although no date has been fixed yet, he is expected to hang the week after next.
M Ravi has been allowed to talk to his client and will do so in the week to come. Further legal action to save Yong in this short amount of time, is being planned. Let’s all hope for the best.
Singapore Anti Death Penalty Campaign