Wrestling with the Death Penalty


The shrewd observer would sense that the picture by those opposing the death penalty is not painted well. Firstly, those against capital punishment say that it is an inhumane retribution and are all out to save Yong Vui Kong, who trafficked in drugs knowing the draconian and harsh penalties for being prosecuted. The death penalty in Singapore for drug trafficking has its precedence and Vui Kong cannot use ignorance as his defence, sound mind that he is.

Yet the same group canvassing for signatures at Speakers’ Corner are deathly silent about saving Galing Kujat and Jabing Kho who bashed to death their robbery victim. Unless those against capital punishment are using the foot-in-the-door strategy that they will try to save drug traffickers now but not murderers – too bad for the latter as they deserve the death penalty.

But that ironically condemns the death penalty campaign. The likes of the SADPC still support it and are being selective quiet about it instead. What is the TOC’s stand on the death penalty which seems very confusingly double standards on mercy now I ask, and you should too.

Aug 2, 2010
Petition against penalty
By Zakir Hussain

ABOUT 140 people gathered at Speakers’ Corner in Hong Lim Park on Sunday to sign a petition to spare convicted Malaysian drug trafficker Yong Vui Kong from the gallows.

The signatures will be pooled with 12,000 already collected by the Save Vui Kong Campaign in Malaysia, and submitted to President S R Nathan this month.

Yong, 22, was convicted by the High Court on Nov 14, 2008, of trafficking in 47.27g of heroin. The death penalty is mandatory for trafficking 15g or more of the drug.

The Court of Appeal turned down his appeal in May, and he has till Aug 26 to file a plea for presidential clemency.

Sunday’s event at the Speakers’ Corner was organised by the Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign, a loose group led by activists Seelan Palay, 26 and Rachel Zeng, 27; and by socio-political website The Online Citizen (TOC), which has called for an end to the mandatory death penalty.

TOC chief editor Andrew Loh said Yong had become repentant in prison; and argued that hanging him would not deter drug barons from finding others to do their work.

Jul 31, 2010
2 Sarawakians get death
By Selina Lum

TWO Sarawakian men who bashed to death a Chinese national while robbing him were on Friday convicted of murder and sentenced to the mandatory death penalty.

Jabing Kho had struck Mr Cao Ruyin, a construction worker, on the head with a tree branch with such force that his accomplice, Galing Kujat, saw their 40-year-old victim’s head crack open.

An autopsy found that Mr Cao suffered 14 fractures to his skull.

Justice Kan Ting Chiu, in convicting the two 26-year-olds, found that the duo had a common intention to commit robbery, and while carrying out that crime, Jabing intentionally inflicted head injuries on Mr Cao, which were sufficient to cause death.

On the night of Feb 17, 2008, Mr Cao and another Chinese worker, Mr Wu Jun, were walking along Geylang Drive when they were set upon by Galing and Jabing.

Mr Cao, who was robbed of his mobile phone, died from serious injuries to his brain six days later, while Mr Wu escaped with minor injuries.

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8 responses

  1. Amir Hamzah

    If I am correct, SADPC is made up of 6 people who are very young and are also working. Rachel says on her site that she is a teacher. The rest I am not sure if they are students or working. But 6 of them have been running the campaign for past 2 years for Yong Vui Kong, maybe they also want to work on other cases too but they are very short handed. In Singapore, how many people can commit like these young people? How come you never put the question to them first and have a clarification? I am sure they will be very willing to reply to you because Rachel replied to me. Go ask her yourself she is against the death penalty for all crimes. If maybe we can put them to become full time campaigners, maybe they can do many more. This was what I see in Bangkok, London and many other places. The activists are all full time and are funded. How many in Singapore is willing to sponsor activists full time? I think before anybody wants to slam them for not responding to the other case please think of all these factors first. At least these young people are out and about doing something about what they believe in. How about the rest?

    August 3, 2010 at 1:30 am

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  3. merigue

    are they against the death penalty or the MANDATORY death penalty for drug mules? i think it is the latter.

    August 3, 2010 at 12:14 pm

  4. Merigue, I am personally against the death penalty for ALL crimes.
    – Rachel (SADPC)

    August 3, 2010 at 2:37 pm

  5. Although I am not part of the SADPC, I am part of TOC and have been involved in the campaign to save Vui Kong’s life since March this year.

    Like Rachel, I am also against the death penalty for all crimes.

    However, I am right now focusing on Vui Kong’s case, because as Amir Hamzah has accurately pointed out, many of us working on this campaign are doing it outside of our full-time jobs. We have not the time or resources to spend all day everyday campaigning for all cases on death row (not to mention that there are probably many cases that aren’t even reported, and consequently we don’t know about).

    Vui Kong’s case also comes with some urgency now, seeing that his case is now at the clemency appeal stage, which means that he could be hung at any time after 26th August.

    If I had unlimited energy, time and resources, I would not hesitate to lend my voice to speak out against each death penalty case I come across. But unfortunately, I am only one human, with my own personal responsibilities, family, etc.

    Although, if YOU would be willing to lend a hand and join us, I’m sure we could try to do more! 🙂

    August 3, 2010 at 11:05 pm

  6. Lurker

    Not enough resources? I don’t think so lah. Want to tackle saving drug mules and not killers as former idea easier to sell to masses. Admit it.

    August 4, 2010 at 10:29 am

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