Malaysian politicians and activists have started the campaign to save 22-year old Vui Kong from the death sentence in Singapore. The event kicked off with a press conference held in Sandakan, Sabah, the hometown of Vui Kong, on 21 July. Sabah Member of Parliament, Datuk Chua Soon Bui, and Vui Kong's lawyer, Mr M Ravi, were present to lend support to the campaign. So were Vui Kong's younger sister, Vui Fung, and one of his borthers, Yun Sang, as well as dozens of relatives and supporters.
Datuk Chua said: "This campaign is for humanity. It is above politics. We appeal to the state government to intervene and support us."
Datuk Chua also pointed out that Yong can give back to society by reaching out to young people who might be vulnerable to drug traffickers. Rather than kill him, he should be allowed to repent and share his story.
Campaigners will hit the streets of Sandakan tomorrow (23 July, Friday) to appeal to the public to support their cause. They hope to collect 100,000 signatures by August 23. (To sign the petition, please click here.)
Vui Kong has until 26 August 2010 to file an appeal for clemency with the Singapore president. As there is only about a month before the deadline for the clemency appeal, TOC will carry news and reports of the campaign as and when they happen.
Here are some news reports in Malaysia on the event:
Malaysiakini: Wanted: 100,000 signatures to save Vui Kong
The Borneo Post: Save Vui Kong drive in hometown Sandakan
Interceder: News on Vui Kong
Klik4Malaysia: Campaign Launched for Vui Kong Second Chance
Malaysian Insider: NGOs appeal for Sabah boy on Singapore death row
New Straits Times: Support for clemency
Here are some pictures from Sabah of the press conference on Thursday.
M Ravi (with MP Chua): "He is a victim of poverty, misguided youth and social conditions." During the press conference in Sandakan, Ravi explained how Singapore's Law Minister K Shanmugum's comments about Yong had prejudiced his clemency appeal. "We are here on a united front to save this boy from being unfairly executed."
Ngeow Chow Ying, Yong's Malaysian lawyer: "Everyone's life is precious and worth fighting for. Yong Vui Kong is still so young. He comes from an impoverished background. He deserves a second chance. He can be a strong anti-drug advocate. Who doesn't deserve a second chance?"
"The death penalty is a controversial issue, but the fundamental question is, can it solve problems? What purpose does killing this boy serve? What problem does it solve?"
Stephen Wong Tien Fatt, Sandakan community leader: "Everyone knows Yong Vui Kong committed a crime. He knows that too. He is repentant. He deserves a second chance." [Vui Kong's younger sister, Vui Fung, is 4th from left.]
COLLECTIVE EFFORT: (from left) Ngeow, Syed Husin and Tunku Abdul Aziz are urging fellow Malaysians to pledge their support — Pic: RAZAK GHAZALI
Community leader Stephen Wong (right) receives the signature campaign forms from Ravi as Chua (third left), Ngeow (left), Poon (second right) and others look on. (Picture from Borneo Post)
Yong Vui Fung (in black), Vui Kong's sister, on the streets of Sabah campaigning for signatures to support the petition to save her brother.
Sabah newspaper reports on 24th and 25th July of the launch of the campaign.
Singapore's media was totally silent on the campaign's launch.
[The family has kept Vui Kong's death sentence from his mother. Thus, she does not know that her son has been sentenced to death till today.]
Wishing Mom Happy Birthday
10th June, Thursday
May happiness spread in all the four directions.
I’m doing well here. Everyday I practice (my Buddhism) and study.
3rd Brother, Second Brother come to see me many times every week. 3rd bro, 2nd bro and I are healthy. 3rd bro’s face used to have a lot of acne, now less. He also cut his hair, looks fresher, and much more handsome. 3rd bro and 2nd bro and I know how to take care of ourselves, to choose what’s best for ourselves. I read a lot here. If I come across a good book, I will recommend to 2nd and 3rd Bro. When they visit me, I will take the chance to share the Dharma, give them the proper outlook. I have confidence that they will both succeed in their own paths. Mom, have faith in the Buddha and the Bodhisattvas! Read more when you’re free. Best is read the Buddhist Scriptures. Occasionally, watch the Buddhist VCDs, or go to the temple and listen to Dharma talk, practice Buddhism – many benefits! Because we are all bound to pass away one day, our bodies are impermanent. Just like wearing clothes need to pull back (I have no idea what the phrase means, even though the word 挽 means 'pull back'), when you know the Dharma, it will be useful after the body dies. So recite the mantras when you have time. That’s best.
“Namo Buddha, Namo Dhama, Namo Sandha
Namo Amitabha”…. Always recite, Mom!
Recite with sincerity, and faith.
30 May 2010, Sunday
Your youngest son, Yong Vui Kong
Vui Kong spent weeks drawing this picture of the Buddha on his knees. He would wake up at 4am every morning, while everyone else was still asleep on death row. He would say his prayers, do his chants, and then remain kneeling as he paints this picture.
The campaign website: http://2ndchance4yong.wordpress.com/
Save Vui Kong: http://savevuikong.blogspot.com/
Sign the online petition to the president of S'pore:
TOC calls for a moratorium on the mandatory death penalty in Singapore.
Here is our campaign video.
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