It has been two months since Yong made his appeal on 15 March. He is appealing against the death sentence which was imposed on him in 2007 when he was caught with 47g of diamorphine. He was found guilty of drug trafficking and was given the mandatory death penalty.
Originally scheduled to hang on 4 December last year, his lawyer, Mr Madasamy Ravi, persuaded the court that Yong had not had his appeal heard, as was his right under the Constitution. The court agreed and granted Yong a hearing on 15 March. In that hearing, Mr Madasamy argued that the mandatory death penalty was unconstitutional, citing many judicial decisions in other jurisdictions all over the world.
On Sunday, 9 May, Law Minister K Shanmugam defended the Singapore government’s position on the issue. According to the Straits Times, the minister “believes this stand has saved thousands of lives… The penalty applies to a crimes [sic] such as murder, kidnapping and drug trafficking, and Mr Shanmugam believes it has had a deterrent effect, and sent a clear signal to drug barons on Singapore’s position.”
The Online Citizen has been campaigning for a moratorium on the mandatory death penalty since Yong’s case came to light.
You can read the articles and view the videos here: Campaign for a moratorium on the mandatory death penalty.
By Andrew Loh