The Think Centre and the Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign find the verdict announced by Singapore’s Court of Appeal highly disappointing. We also find it daunting that the President of Singapore has no apparent right to decide against the advice of the Cabinet regarding the granting of clemency appeals.
There is no value in the state execution of Yong Vui Kong. The reason that there are still drug mules carrying drugs into our country proves that the Mandatory Death Penalty (MDP) has failed to serve as a deterrent. While drug mules are being hanged, the masterminds of such drug syndicates get away scot free.
The government of Singapore actively advocates for chances to be given to former convicts and to help them rejoin the society under the Yellow Ribbon Project. We do not see how it cannot be extended to Vui Kong and the rest of the drug mules who are mostly marginalised youths who were led astray.
The Singapore government should listen to the call from its young citizens and the people in the world who are moving towards more humane ways to deal with non-violent crimes rather than imposing mandatory death penalty for drug mules. The UN General Assembly has called on member states to establish a moratorium on executions as a step towards the abolition of the death penalty. A total of 109 countries voted in favour of the resolution, while 35 countries voted against and 41 abstained. (UNGA 21 December 2010).
We call on the government to declare an immediate moratorium on all death sentences and to commute Yong Vui Kong’s sentence.