Friday, September 24, 2010

Youths for Second Chances

We Believe in Second Chances is a youth initiative in Singapore formed in Sept 2010. The group was formed through inspiration from the story of Yong Vui Kong who was sentenced to hang for drug trafficking and is awaiting the gallows in Changi prison. In this video a bunch of young Singaporeans come together to spread their message of forgiveness, to give people who have made mistakes in the past a second chance.

Through dance and music, these youths paint a picture of what could have been possible when a young person grows up in a different environment and are not subjected to the drug baron's manipulation of youths who come from broken families. There must be punishment for those who did wrong, but there must also be a path for people to change, just like the Yellow Ribbon Campaign which aims to give convicts a second chance in life. Many of these convicts have rehabilitated successfully through this program.

Everyone of us were young once, and everyone of us deserves a second chance, including Yong Vui Kong, who was only 18 years old when he was arrested. He has since been in jail for nearly 4 years. A folly committed as a teenager should never lead to eternal damnation by premature termination of life via judicial hanging.

Vui Kong has promised that he would take up the fight against the trade of drug trafficking and the recruitment of young drug runners. Through this, he could possibly save many lives in the future, including those destroyed by drug addiction. Is there really no chance of recourse for Vui Kong, a repentant individual? Is it necessary to kill a sheep to scare the herd, when capital punishment as compared to imprisonment as a sentence has not been proven to reduce drug trafficking?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Vui Kong's story in a play produced by Amnesty International M'sia

Banduan Akhir” is a story inspired by the real story of Yong Vui Kong, a Malaysian boy who is facing the Death Penalty in Singapore.

 In 2007, the 18 years old boy from a broken family in Sabah was arrested with 47 grams of heroin and sentenced to Mandatory Death Penalty. 

Since then, Vui Fung, a Malaysian girl is struggling for her brother, Yong Vui Kong from the Death Penalty. For more than 3 years, she's facing with a lot of difficulties from the authorities to save her brother. 

Nevertheless, with Ravi, the prolific Human Rights lawyer in Singapore, both of them 'believe' that something can be done to save Yong Vui Kong's life. 

This 50 minutes drama will potray the dark hours of Yong Vui Kong facing the cruel Death Penalty.

Contact:: 03-79552680 /

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Be part of the Save Vui Kong Campaign Volunteer

Amnesty International Malaysia is going to have ‘Banduan Akhir‘, a special theatre performance, in conjuction with the ‘World Day Against the Death Penalty’.

The play which will be staged for five nights from the 10th -14th October 2010 is in English and Bahasa Malaysia but there will be subtitles provided. The performance will be held at Black Box Theatre, Level G2-01, Block A5, Solaris Dutamas 1, Jalan Dutamas 1, Off Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur.

This production looks at issues surrounding death penalty and is inspired by the story of Yong Vui Kong, a Malaysian boy facing the death penalty in Singapore. In 2007, the 19 year old boy from a broken family in Sabah was arrested with 47 grams of heroin and sentenced to death. The play follows the struggle of his sister, Vui Fung and M. Ravi, the human rights lawyer in Singapore, to have Yong Vui Kong’s death sentence revoked.

Amnesty Malaysia is persistently campaigning for the abolition of the death penalty and would be honoured and greatly appreciative if you could attend this production and offer your support to this demonstration of the fundamental right of every Malaysian and global citizen, the right to life. An issue such as this should be discussed freely and without restrictions, and this production will give opportunity for discussion and creation of awareness.

Save Vui Kong Campaign will be part of the supporting group for this performance.

We need minimum 7 volunteers for each day's performance

Date : 10th October-14th October.

Venue : Black Box Theatre, Map, Level G2-01, Block A5, Solaris Dutamas 1, Jalan Dutamas 1, Off Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur.

Time : You will be asked to be there at 6pm to help set up-until approximately 10pm.

Choose any day you can volunteer : Its five nights and you can choose which day that you are free to help us.

Briefing : A simple briefing will be held on 9th October 2010 (Saturday), time at 10am.

Amnesty International Malaysia and Save Vui Kong Campaign would be honored and greatly appreciative if you could join us in this event by be a volunteer. Kindly confirm your participation with Lim Tuan Chun at or by calling 03 7955 2680.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Vui Kong gets to see his next birthday

In a court ruling on 31 Aug, Vui Kong gets another stay of execution from the High Court when it ruled that the date for appeal of the High Court's judgement on judicial review will be on the week commencing from 17 Jan 2011.

Vui Kong, who will be 23 in January next year, will have spent almost 4 years in prison after his incarceration.

The average waiting time for convicts in death row in recent years have reduced dramatically as the court processes become more efficient.

The judges seem to have a compassionate streak to give Vui Kong's lawyer another 4 months to prepare and Vui Kong another 4 months to continue his daily ritual of prayers and maintain a tiny sliver of hope that one day, the Singapore President can grant him clemency.

Before passing the judgement, trial judge Justice Choo Han Teck summoned both the defence and presecution into chamber and asked the prosecution if they would consider reducing the charge given the relatively young age of the drug offender, who was not even 19 at the age of the offence. The prosecution declined and the death sentence was handed to Vui Kong.

On 14th May, the Court of Appeal duly rejected Vui Kong's first appeal. But it acknowledged that the mandatory death sentence is considered a cruel, degrading and inhuman punishment.

The judges seem to favour giving Vui Kong a second chance, but they are unable to because of the lack of discretion due to the mandatory nature of the death penalty applicable to drug traffickers.

This is unfortunate, because day in and day out these judges see criminals, some sentenced to death, others not. High court judges should be given the powers to decide whether a person has committed a crime so heinous that he/she deserves the death sentence.

Malaysia has had a minister speaking up about abolishing the death penalty recently, when would it be Singapore's turn?