Updates on Yong Vui Kong

By Rachel Zeng

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.