The court had adjourned for 15 minutes while Vui Kong’s lawyers prepared some documents for his case. People stood up and began milling about, talking in low voices or answering messages on their phones.
I sat next to Vui Kong’s brothers, Yun Leong clutching the messages and birthday banner I had handed over to him just a moment ago. We were both looking over at Vui Kong, sitting with head bowed in the dock, flanked by two policemen.
Lynn came over to chat with us. “Are you going to show Vui Kong the banner?”
“Can we do that?” Yun Leong looked unsure. There were quite a few police officers standing around, all looking stern and businesslike.
“Just go and ask them!”
Lynn went up to the policemen and Yun Leong followed with the banner. They stood by the glass panel separating Vui Kong from the public and got his attention. He looked over, a little confused at what they were doing. Then Yun Leong unfolded the banner and held it up for him to see.
For those of you who were at Second Chances in the Park, you know how big the banner is. As Yun Leong held it up, you could see all the signatures, all the well wishes, and the Second Chances heart right in the middle with the message “Happy 23rd Birthday Vui Kong!”
From where I was I could see him mouth a silent “wah!” as he looked at all the signatures and took in the size of the banner. Then a smile lit up his whole face, and he looked exactly like what he is: a young, scrawny kid. He pressed his palms together and bowed.
He didn’t get to see the banner for long, because the court security guards said we weren’t allowed to display banners. But the important thing was that he got to see it, and know that people support him.
When Yun Leong goes to visit him next week, he will also get to read the letters and messages everyone has sent to Second Chances.
So on behalf of Vui Kong, we would just like to pass on his thanks to everyone who signed the banner or sent a message, or supported the campaign to save his life in any way.