SANDAKAN: The Save Yong Vui Kong signature campaign has collected more than 10 per cent of the targeted 100,000 signatures in Malaysia and Singapore.
The campaign, launched on July 22 here and co-sponsored by the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall and Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), is aimed at seeking clemency for Sandakan-born Vui Kong, who was last year sentenced to hang in Singapore for trafficking in 47 grams of a controlled drug, diamorphine, on June 13, 2007 when he was 18 years and six months old.
“So far, SCCC has received more than 10,000 signatures but we are waiting for more to come in from the youth wings of Teo Chiew Association and United Chinese Community Associations Sandakan, Sabah before we compile and send them to Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall and counsel Ravi of Singapore,” said Sandakan Chinese Chamber of Commerce (SCCC) chairman Stephen Wong yesterday.
He added that continuous efforts were being made by all quarters to collect more signatures before the August 20 deadline and he urged all those who have yet to sign up to do so to enable the campaign meet its target.
Vui Kong after withdrawing his appeal against the death sentence in April 2009, filed a petition to Singapore President Sellapan Ramanathan for clemency. However, it was declined on November 20, 2009 and he was to have been executed on December 4, 2009.
He agreed to appeal through his lawyer, M.Ravi, that the mandatory death penalty was inhuman and any legislation that prescribes that penalty as the punishment for an offence violates the right to life as set out in Article 9(1) of the Constitution. His appeal was heard by the Court of Appeal and dismissed in May this year.
Having exhausted all his avenues for legal redress, Yong sought clemency from the President for the second time.
On July 30 this year, Foreign Minister Datuk Anifah Aman sent a letter of appeal for clemency for Yong to the Singapore Foreign Ministry.
Meanwhile, the case was heard on July 28 in Singapore but the presiding court judge reserved judgment until further notice.
In Tawau, the campaign collected 6,000 signatures.
Tawau member of parliament Datuk Chua Soon Bui who is heading the drive here, called on the people for support to give Vui Kong a second chance.
Meanwhile Chua’s assistant, Jenny Lau said they were aiming to get as many signatures as possible before August 20.
Many individuals have already come forward to help in getting the signatures. Those who want to help collect signatures can also get the forms from Chua’s office at Takada.
Jenny also urged the public to spread the news of the campaign so that Vui Kong could be given a second chance.
Members of the public can go online to endorse a petition to the Singapore president at http://www.petitiononline.com/SaveVK/petition.html.
They can also help the campaign by printing the petition and signature form and collect signatures from families, friends, colleague and even strangers.
The URLs for downloads are http://www.box.net/shared/k16t1gf5ss (English version) http://www.box.net/shared/ibce9v8cd (Mandarin version) or http://www.box.net/shared/daqymy6vtu (Bahasa Malaysia version).
Complete signature forms should be mailed by August 23 to “Save Vui Kong” Campaign, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, 1, Jalan Maharajalela, 50150 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.