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?

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