Reprieve but living on borrowed time

This is an excerpt from an article published on Free Malaysia Today’s website.

By Maxwell Coopers

Convicted Sabahan Yong Vui Kong may have postponed his date with destiny but the hangman’s noose is still hovering over him as he awaits the final outcome.


Once again, Malaysian Yong Vui Kong is supposedly “free” at last.

The Sabah native who is now languishing in Singapore’s Changi Prison has had his appointment with the hangman postponed – not once but actually three times if memory serves me right.

It is too soon to say that Yong may have made history but the decision to let him live just a little longer on presumed borrowed time is historic no less.

The very rare decision by Singapore’s highest court, the Supreme Court, to reserve judgment on Yong technically means the court is not going take the case any further and will only make a ruling later. That may not amount to a victory just yet, but a reprieve.

Those following the case will view the judgment with undisguised “relief” and triumph not just for Yong but for the many who had long argued against the use of the mandatory death penalty as a means to combat the republic’s drug menace.

Many within and without the legal fraternity have long argued that the use of the death penalty to stop drug smuggling is otiose and that the only way to wipe out the menace is through coordinated enforcement action by all affected nations on the drug barons operating out of Southeast Asia.

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