Updates on Yong Vui Kong
December 5, 2009, 1:12 am
Filed under: By Rachel Zeng, Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign

I have met up with the elder brother of Yong Vui Kong together with members of the Singapore Anti Death Penalty Campaign and some other activists and he told us about the mother’s visit.

Yong was allowed to see his mother through a glass panel on Wednesday. Upon seeing his mother, Yong knelt down and bowed to her three times. It was really emotional as they have not seen each other for 3 years. Yong and the siblings explained to her that Yong had committed a serious crime regarding drugs and he will be taken away and won’t be allowed to see anyone forever. They did not tell her that her son is on the death row in order to minimise the blow due to her condition.

I have often wondered why the prison has to be so cruel and inhumane about visits. Why must the visits be conducted without any form of human contact, especially when it comes to inmates sitting on the death row? Yes they have committed crimes and yes they are doing their time for the crimes but does it mean that they do not deserve to hug, touch and speak to their family members in person minus the glass panel? Why must it be so cold all the time? Criminals are human beings too aren’t they?

Their so called ‘normal procedure’ is ridiculous and unnecessary in my opinion.

We have also found out from M Ravi about his interview with Yong.

According to Ravi, Yong gave the impression of someone who had been spiritually enlightened by his conversion to Buddhism and he even blessed Ravi and the people who have shown concern to him. He readily admitted his mistakes at Court and during his interview with Ravi and is willing to accept punishment.

With the knowledge from the conversations I have had with Ravi and Yong’s brother, I do not see why rehabilitation and clemency won’t work. I do not understand why the government and the Attorney-General’s Chambers seem to be rushing things to execute him. I also learned that there was another execution of a young man from Sabah just last Friday. Yong Vui Kong knew the young man as they were sitting on the death row together. It was a drug related case as well.

May I take this opportunity to call out to all lawyers reading this to write to us if they hear of any other death row cases. It is important that we become are aware of more of such cases so that we can help to give other lawyers who are facing such cases the adequate support.


42 Comments so far
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Hi – I’m a Singaporean working in New York and it really saddens me to read about Mr Yong’s situation. Please let me know how I can help. Maybe drum up awareness overseas??

Comment by Gera

Hi Gera, you can help to spread the news of this case to as many people as possible. Awareness is really important.🙂

Comment by rachelabsinthe

[…] November 30, 2009 by Jacob 69er Dec 5 update: Read Rachel’s post Updates on Yong Vui Kong. […]

Pingback by Petition for clemency of Yong Vui Kong denied « Jacob 69er

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jacob G, yueheng. yueheng said: Update on the case of Yong Vui Kong, who received a stay of execution: https://rachelzeng.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/updates-on-yong-vui-kong/ […]

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What nonsense procedure ? It is all man made, it can be changed,it is up to the authority.No MPs want to bring this up in the parliament

Comment by Moe Gan Thai

Yes indeed, no MPs want to bring this up in Parliament because their ricebowls might start showing cracks.

Comment by rachelabsinthe

Mr Dashan Singh must have a lot of blood on his hands. I wonder how he can sleep peacefully at night.

Comment by Brendan

To him, he is bringing those he hangs to a better world. He believes in rebirth so he always hopes that they get reborn to be a better person… well according to him anyway.

Comment by rachelabsinthe

一失足成千恨。早知今日又何必当初?

Comment by Steven

I hope I am reading/understanding your comment right because my Mandarin (reading) is terrible.

Anyway yes he had made a mistake because he was naive and ‘didn’t know better’, yes he deserves to be punished. But hey look, he just turned 19 when he committed the said offence, arrested for the first time and sentenced to death. Is the government trying to tell us that criminals do not deserve a second chance? If everyone knows about the ‘consequences’ beforehand, then no one in this world would have made a mistake.

Yong did not know that the amount of drugs he brought in would get him a death sentence. He believed his boss when he was told that 47grams of heroin was too little to get him a death penalty and all he might get is a fine or something like that if he gets caught.

Comment by rachelabsinthe

Irregardless of our views on capital punishment, I think it is cruel and inhumane not to allow for physical contact between Yong and his mother. I am reminded of the case of Australian Nguyen Tuong Van, who was hanged in December 2005. Nguyen’s mom was not allowed to hug him. I wonder how many heartbroken moms are there out there, whose children have been hanged, who were denied the act of huggng their children goodbye for the last time.

Comment by ahtong

Indeed… not being able to touch a loved one before s/he dies is such a heart wrenching thing. If the authorities do not realise that, then I wonder if they are actually human themselves. (They probably have hearts made of steel… literally)

Comment by rachelabsinthe

No only do I get the sense that the authorities don’t recognise that, many of the supporters of death penalty that blogged in TOC don’t realise that as well!

Comment by ahtong

[…] The Singapore government does not want you to know that Yong Vui Kong, a 21-year-old Malaysian, may have seen his mother for the last time. […]

Pingback by Why Singapore hides the human face of the death penalty « Asian Correspondent

[…] The Singapore government does not want you to know that Yong Vui Kong, a 21-year-old Malaysian, may have seen his mother for the last time. […]

Pingback by Why Singapore hides the human face of the death penalty « Hung At Dawn

[…] The Singapore government does not want you to know that Yong Vui Kong, a 21-year-old Malaysian, may have seen his mother for the last time. […]

Pingback by Singapore masks human face of executions-Asia File « FACT – Freedom Against Censorship Thailand

Every human were born first as baby, an innocent baby and no one can pin-point that this baby is a future murderer or a drug smuggler.
If one is committed with a serious crime ie. capital punishment…..you can say that he or she was in the wrong place and wrong time.
Cos, no human with a sane mind would want to commit such crime.
As such, society should take that into consideration and do away with execution/death penalty

Comment by yansimon52

Empathy is a vestige of the past, a crutch for the weak.

Comment by OriginalResonance

You think so?

Well so the present day human being should be cold hearted, selfish and cruel?

Man… then I need a time machine to transport me back through time to an era where empathy is allowed and not considered weak or passe.

Comment by rachelabsinthe

Eh, no human is omnipotent? Just because I denounce it as a semblance of weakness does not detract from the reality that we are all born with mirror neurons in the brain to empathize. But I’m an ethical egoist. I’ll pet my cat because it’s cute and elicits an urge in me to protect it. I’ve no such feelings for roosters though. That’s why I eat them. Just as I’ve no empathy for anti-intellectual youths like Vui Kong.

Comment by OriginalResonance

OriginalResonance. Your tough guy act makes me laugh. The same way a joke does.

Forget empathy. How about a desire for preservation of the live of a fellow human being? Forget the drugs, forget the crime, forget how dumb he is. Forget every emotional aspect involved in this case and think about it this way.

This should be stopped for the same reason wars should be prevented. People die, some sooner than others, but no one should have to die at the hands of a corrupt government and a ridiculous justice system.

If you think that this… persona of yours makes girls swoon and shrinks men’s balls, then you are more delusional than I originally presumed. My advice to you, is to think. Because you’re not doing enough of it.

Comment by theinkhorn

OriginalResonance: Yong Vui Kong is not anti-intellectual, he is just not as privileged as some of us to receive the ‘proper’ guidance about certain things.

Do you think that every underprivileged youth who has not received the same form of guidance and education as you and I are able to discern our way of ‘right and wrong’?

At a very young and impressionable age, he was told by his ‘friends’ that heroin and cigarettes are the same. There is nothing wrong with cigarettes because people smoke them, the rich and the poor, people on TV and on the streets. So he thought that since there is nothing wrong with smoking cigarettes, there is nothing wrong with heroin too as they were the same thing (he thought).

You have coldly labelled him an anti-intellect, but it doesn’t make you an intellect.

Comment by rachelabsinthe

“Do you think that every underprivileged youth who has not received the same form of guidance and education as you and I are able to discern our way of ‘right and wrong’?”

Are you implying that every individual who had been educated in school would be capable of discerning right from wrong? And conversely, all village people with no access to education are evil? Matriculation is a tool of capitalism. Just because you’ve attended a school does not give you the right to refer to those who haven’t as “underprivileged”. It’s insular and out of sync with reality.

“You have coldly labelled him an anti-intellect, but it doesn’t make you an intellect.”

Intellectualism is an intent. Intelligence is the quality that you seek to deprive me of. This boy, like many other youths of today, lack the drive towards intellectual pursuits. And there shall be consequences for that.

Comment by OriginalResonance

Hi OR,

“Are you implying that every individual who had been educated in school would be capable of discerning right from wrong? And conversely, all village people with no access to education are evil?”

Nope, I am not implying that EVERY individual who has been educated in school would be capable of discerning right from wrong. What I have merely done was to suggest that you think about the possibilities of the differences in upbringing, environments and exposure etc, before coming out to declare someone as this or that.

By education, I did not mean an education in school. Education as a term and concept, is not only confined to school. It broadly includes to areas like early childhood environment, general guidance by parents, exposure and influences of friends when one is growing up etc.

Also, kindly refrain from implying that I see all village folks as evil. There is no such thing. In fact, the most educated and capitalistic bastard with all his PhDs who bulks up his vault with stacks of dollars and cents with his business empire might well be more evil than anyone else in the world. I do not measure such things by how much institutionalised qualifications they have attained.

“Intellectualism is an intent. Intelligence is the quality that you seek to deprive me of. This boy, like many other youths of today, lack the drive towards intellectual pursuits. And there shall be consequences for that.”

I did not seek to deprive you of anything and I am sorry that you feel that way. I don’t think that he is an anti-intellect. Rather, the environment he was exposed almost all his life had caused him to think about survival and to make his mother’s life easier and so he chose to take the route of easy money.

BTW, I welcome discussions and debates so please DO NOT take this as an online battle of any sort. We are here to share opinions, not here to make false accusations (not saying that you do, just want to make certain things clear). If in doubt of any intentions of myself or any commentators, kindly ask and clarify.🙂

Comment by rachelabsinthe

OriginalResonance, there is no guarantee that every individual with an education would be equipped with a stronger moral compass. But there is a possibility, and since there is, your argument is completely flawed. Not to mention, your attempt at a deflection is rather weak. Are you not the one insinuating that uneducated, village people are evil by labelling Yong an anti-intellectual?

You seem pretty intent on convincing people that you’re an intellectual. Whats the matter, nobody in real life believes you?

You’re not the only who notes the lack of intellectual prowess in the today’s youth. But instead of berating and mocking them for it, put your words and your mind to better use and educate them. That’s the most logical and intelligent thing to do, OR.

Comment by theinkhorn

“there is no guarantee that every individual with an education would be equipped with a stronger moral compass.”

Indeed and I agree with you.

However we are not talking about stronger moral compass here and when it comes to education, I have explained that it is not limited only to school education. Instead it is about exposure to certain FACTS. For example, if a 10 year old grows up in an environment whereby he was taught that eating human flesh is equivalent to eating sweet potatoes, he come to think that cannibalism is perfectly normal. That is of course, if he is not exposed to any alternative facts and guidance telling him otherwise.

I have another example here. One of my 4 year old student is very good at everything business. He is a typical capitalist even in his learning, play and social skills. That has been because his parents owns a private business and are too busy to talk about anything else but business, even when they are having dinner at home with the kids. So the boy has been conditioned by such influence, to imitate and behave in a certain way that the environment influences him to at such a young and impressionable age.

Of course I can give you some other examples. The list is exhausive but I am rushing back to class soon so won’t elaborate.

“You seem pretty intent on convincing people that you’re an intellectual. Whats the matter, nobody in real life believes you?”

Why do I care if anyone is convince if I am an intellectual or not? People can form their own opinions about me, positive or negative, I don’t care. This applies both offline and online. When there is a personal attack/ accusation as a result of a misunderstood point or not, I seek only to clarify but not to force anyone to erase negative impressions of me, if any (just fyi).

This blog serves as a place for me to express my opinions and to hear what others have to share, whether I agree with them or not.

Comment by rachelabsinthe

“Are you not the one insinuating that uneducated, village people are evil by labelling Yong an anti-intellectual? ”

Well, that’s if we presuppose that village people are anti-intellectual. It’s a matter of semantics, of which you fail to grasp.

“You’re not the only who notes the lack of intellectual prowess in the today’s youth. But instead of berating and mocking them for it, put your words and your mind to better use and educate them. That’s the most logical and intelligent thing to do, OR.”

It’s far more intelligent to serve one’s self-interest. But then again, I’ve no understanding of metaphysics. And I dunno bout you but I very much prefer reality.

Comment by OriginalResonance

Nay I don’t presume anything without taking into considerations factors with regards to education (once again, it does not mean institutionalised education) which includes early years exposure and environment, guidance on the so called ‘morals’ and the stuff I have mentioned earlier on. Thing here is, there are many factors that shape an individual’s views and character, both consciously and subconsciously.

It is quite obvious to me that we are seeing things in totally different perspectives, which is fine with me as diversity makes the world a more interesting place to live in. All of us co-exist in a society with other individuals and although I am not into conformity, I am not into living by a philosophy of total self interest. There is nothing more or less intelligent should one choose to serve one’s self interest or to use their knowledge or intelligence for the benefit of the society. That, in my opinion, is a matter of choice. Many capitalists do not care about society at all. In fact, they live their lives based on total self interest. I am sure that you do not embrace their ‘ism’ somehow but you sure speak like some of the most capitalistic people I know personally. (Do correct me if I am wrong)

Trust me, I DO know where you are coming from but am way past that already (not too convenient to elaborate here though but feel free to email me if you are interested to know/ discuss).

Comment by rachelabsinthe

Btw, where’s the petition for the “no to rape” movement? I’m sincerely interested in contributing, considering my personal experiences with the issue. Unfortunately, I was once raped by 2 models, one Ukrainian and the other Japanese. It was horrific, to say the least.

Comment by OriginalResonance

Oh dear, that is horrible!

Well you can sign their petition on their website… I am not part of their campaign but I support it.

Comment by rachelabsinthe

I hope you’re joking. Coz I am.

Comment by OriginalResonance

“I hope you’re joking. Coz I am.”
😉

That’s my only reply to that.

Comment by rachelabsinthe

“I hope you’re joking. Coz I am.”
😉

That’s my only reply to that.

Comment by rachelabsinthe

OriginalResonance, on TOC you claim to be an “anarchist” but if you support the death penalty which is state sanctioned murder you are not anarchist at all.

And even if you do not support state sanctioned murder but want to criticize the empathy that others wish to show out of their own accord, you are actually not respecting the freedom of others to do as they desire, which again makes you very little of an “anarchist”.

Comment by gan

An anarchist cherish the freedom to compete, not freedom constructed artificially. That would be synonymous with pandemonium. All man are born unequal. But that’s just my take on anarchy.

Comment by OriginalResonance

Where is the ‘artificially constructed freedom’ in the free will of man to show compassion or empathy?

Comment by gan

History has proven that minister’s remarks are defacto “law” in Singapore.

For this reason, and the simple fact that our law minister is fully aware that an untainted due process is an accused person’s right for a fair trial, law minister should rightly refrain from making comment on a case that is yet to run the full length of said due process.

By doing so, the minister has subverted the process of justice, corrupted due process and the tainted the professionalism of the legal system of our great nation.

Comment by Colin K

[…] “It was really emotional as they have not seen each other for three years,” said Zeng, who related the experience in her blog. […]

Pingback by Silence on Yong’s coming execution in S’pore «

This case reminds me of a similar one a few years ago, that of Nguyen Van Tuong, a young Vietnamese-Australian who was hanged by the Singapore Govt for carrying an amount of heroin. All appeals for clemency fell on deaf ears, including strong representation by the Australian Govt, two Popes and an uproar of diapproval from the Australian public.

The fact that there are more such cases shows that execution as a deterrent is not working. Many young people simply lack the correct judgement; it’s just part of being young. It is inhuman to mete out an irreversible punishment for a single act of thoughtlessness. Capital punishment, if used at all, should be used very sparingly and then only for the most terrible crimes of violence. The mandatory death sentence for such a minor offence that in many countries would merit no more than a fine is ludicrous. One must remember that cigarette smoking and alcohol kill far more people than hard drugs.

Like Yong, Nguyen was separated from his visitors by a glass panel. It took the voice of the Australian PM for the Singapore authorities to relax this rule for the sake of Nguyen’s suffering mother. Even then, the concession was small. In Australia, there was an outpouring of compassion as mother and child were permitted to hold hands through a small opening on the eve of the execution.

Comment by Kein Gan

The God had already given him 2 changes. Do you know that he had successfully sold drug from KK to Kuala Lumpur and earned around RM500000? So, HE SOULD BE HANGED.

Comment by The Judge From Hell

Singapore pap has to wake up , yong vui kong do need a second chance, he is so young and he admit what he has done .. stop all stupid rules in singapore and time to change pap . you are really suck !!!

Comment by Kong Wai Ho




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