Thursday, August 26, 2010

FIDH calls for presidential pardon for Yong Vui Kong, Malyasian national, sentenced to death by hanging

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)


SINGAPORE: FIDH calls for presidential pardon for Yong Vui Kong, Malyasian national, sentenced to death by hanging

Paris - Kuala Lumpur, 25 August 2010 - The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), representing 164 organisations across the world, calls on the Singaporean authorities to uphold the right to life, as enshrined in international law, and urges HE S. R. Nathan, President of Singapore, to exercise his constitutional power to grant a pardon to Mr. Yong Vui Kong, a 22-year-old Malaysian national, who has been sentenced to death by hanging.

Mr Yong, from Sabah, Malaysia, was 19 years old when he was arrested on 13 June 2007 in Singapore for drug possession and was later charged with trafficking 47.27g of diamorphine under Section 5(1)(a) of the Misuse of Drugs Act. He was convicted by the Singapore High Court in 7 January 2009 and sentenced to death by hanging (1). In December 2009, Mr Yong appealed against his sentence but not his conviction, admitting his action was wrong and in violation of the law. In a trial marred by public comments by executive officials, undermining the independence of the judicial proceedings, his appeal was dismissed on 14 May 2010 by Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong. At this final stage in the proceedings, Mr. Yong's only escape from the gallows is a presidential pardon commuting his sentence from execution to life imprisonment, on the advice of the Cabinet, pursuant to Article 22(P) of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore.

Several mitigating factors point towards the appropriate use of a presidential pardon in this case. Mr. Yong was born into a disadvantaged and vulnerable family situation. After his family moved to the estate of another family member, where Mr. Yong and his mother were repeatedly abused, Mr. Yong moved on his own as a youth to Kuala Lumpur. In addition, Mr Yong is repentant for his crime and has openly recognised his wrong-doing. He has consequently embraced Buddhism while incarcerated and has been educating his fellow inmates as well as the wider public on the destructive nature of drugs, hoping to use  his remaining days to provide positive guidance to young people like himself.

FIDH opposes the death penalty in all circumstances as a cruel, inhuman punishment that violates one of the most fundamental human rights: the right to life. In addition, our Organisation wishes to underline that execution of drug traffickers both in Singapore as well as in other parts of the world has had no apparent or proven deterrent effect on drug trafficking. Despite Law Minister Shanmugam's words to the contrary, there is no empirical data supporting the deterrence effect of the death penalty for drug crimes, especially among indigent and vulnerable sectors of society. In this particular case, FIDH invites the Singaporean authorities, in particular President Nathan, to consider Mr Yong’s repentance, background, and the positive message his rehabilitation and reform can send to young people around world in commuting Mr. Yong's sentence to life in prison. To this end, FIDH strongly urges a presidential pardon be granted to Mr Yong and calls the Singaporean government to take concrete steps towards abolishing the death penalty.

(1) Death sentence for drug related offences is mandatory in Singapore. For more information, see the statement of  Philip Alston, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions of the United Nations, in November 2005, calling on the Government of Singapore not to proceed with the planned execution of Nguyen Tuong Van sentenced to death for attempting to drug trafficking. Pror. Alston, a law professor at New York University, said that the execution of Mr Nguyen would violate international legal standards relating to the imposition of the death penalty. The principal problem, according to the UN Special Rapporteur, is the mandatory nature of the death penalty. (

Emmanouil Athanasiou
Responsable du Bureau Asie - Head of Asia Desk
FIDH - International Federation for Human Rights
Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l'Homme
17, Passage de la Main d'Or
75011 Paris, France

Tél.: 0033 1 43 55 25 18
Fax.: 0033 1 43 55 18 80

1 comment:

Bangsa Cina Malaysia said...

in my area are a bunch of chinese school dropouts about 14/15 years of age with funny hair colour smoking and spewing profanities for all and sundry to hear at the taman playground what with children and adults women around....a bloody nuisance to the neighbourhood and riding motorbikes with modified exhaust pipe and speeding around the playground...these are all future 'Yong Vui Kong'

my question are...where are their parent ? who are their parents ?
does the parents know what their children are doing or they couldnt care less ??

can those seeking clemency come and save these bunch of rascal first or better still provide coffin for them. i would thank them very much...