Our president has no discretion when it comes to clemency appeals
April 5, 2011, 2:25 am
Filed under: By Rachel Zeng

I feel that we are being laughed at and ridiculed. All our lives we have been made to believe that the President as the head of the State, has the power to decide upon whether to grant clemency to death row convicts or otherwise. However the Court of Appeal confirmed otherwise.

The President cannot decide against the advise of the Cabinet, in other words, he has no discretion in matters related to clemency appeals.

I feel that I have been cheated all my life.

So the scenario changes and to simplify the situation, let me write it in simpler terms.

A person walks into a farm and selects a cow because his child requested for a cow. He then sends it to the slaughterhouse for slaughtering, but butcher suddenly feels a sense of sympathy for the cow and asked him to spare the animal. He, who holds the money to pay for the slaughtering, instead of making a decision, turns to his child, asking, “Should I say yes or no to the butcher’s request?” The child says no, the cow has to be slaughtered. And then he goes back to the butcher and demands that he kills the animal because your child says so. The butcher appeals, saying that he has the power to make the decision, and his reply is “That is not up to me to say. I cannot make a decision against my child.”



4 Comments so far
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Nothing has changed since I left Singapore 27 years ago. The government knows which President would suit Singapore…the one who is subservient and a “YES” man. More than that, he has to be a good “arse licker” otherwise the government will find an excuse to remove him. I was once a staunch believer in the death penalty but age has mellowed me, especially with the judiciary in Singapore showing a bias towards the prosecution in all cases where the death penalty is involved. After all,judges want to keep their highly paid jobs till they retire. A life sentence (for the rest of their natural lives, with no perks)and a good dose of the “rotan” is ample me thinks.

Comment by Jim Connor

Sad isn’t it?

Comment by rachelabsinthe

Rachel, no one is laughing. Being sentenced to death is no laughing matter.

I admire your courage and sincerity.

I have dedicated a post to you.
The Tragic case of Yong Vui Kong and a dedication to Rachel Zeng

Comment by Solo Bear

Hi Solo Bear,

Thank you for the dedication and encouragement. It is a nice surprise at one of the most exhausting time of the year for me 🙂

I felt ridiculed by what I heard in Court, especially with regards to the fact that the President holds no discretion in matters relating to clemency. Ridiculous IMO.

After reading your blog post, I have to say that in fact under the MDP there is no space for mitigation. Ravi has worked tirelessly and passionately on this and I know it because I have seen how he has been working ever since he took up the case.

We are not being opportunists, this campaign for Yong is intertwine with the campaign against the death penalty because he is a death row inmate and it seems just reasonable for us to run it along with our anti death penalty campaign.

Personally the way I see it, whether there is a case or not, we will still be running the campaign.

However of course everyone is entitled to their views, and I appreciate you for sharing yours.

It may be tiring but most of us will fight for the cause for as long as we can.


Comment by rachelabsinthe

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