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Cheong Chun Yin, Statements, Thoughts on Death Penalty

Press Statement from the Save Vui Kong Campaign on Cheong Chun Yin

Save Vui Kong Campaign – RE CHEONG CHUN YIN

The family of Cheong Chun Yin, a 28-year-old Malaysian who is on death row in Singapore has, at 10am today, submitted a petition supported by 8778 signatures to the President of the Republic of Singapore Mr S R Nathan. The petition pleaded with the Singapore government to stop the imminent execution of Chun Yin, and asked that the prosecution re-open Chun Yinís case.

These signatures were mainly collected by Chun Yinís family over a period of 2 weeks. Out of these signatures, 401 are from Singaporeans and 786 (27.4.2011 @ 0930am) are from the online petition.

A few days ago, Malaysiaís Foreign Affairs Ministry announced that up till March 31 this year, 833 out of the 1,880 Malaysians detained overseas were detained for drug-related offences.

Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Richard Riot had in the press conference said that those who were caught in drug-related offences were most often cheated into becoming ìdrug mules”, and that young girls and single mothers are among the most common victims. He also referred to them as ìinnocent victimsî.

Cheong Chun Yin is an example of an innocent victim.

Save Vui Kong Campaign is glad to learn that the authorities recognise the root of the problem concerning drug trafficking. Since these people are indeed innocent victims, authorities have a responsibility to help and support them, including providing legal counsel, as well as using all diplomatic means to ensure that the victimsí rights are respected and protected. This is the obligation of the State.

At the same time, let us not forget that our laws also impose a harsh punishment, that is, the mandatory death sentence, for drug trafficking. A month ago, the Shah Alam High Court handed down a death sentence to a single mother convicted of drug trafficking. This young woman is from Singapore. She had fallen in love with a man who had gained her trust and tricked her into bringing drugs into Malaysia.

Such people are easy targets for drug barons.

Harsh laws have ended many lives, leaving many families devastated.

And yet, even with such laws, drug barons will continue to make use of vulnerable people, induce them, and trick them into committing crimes. The young, ignorant and desperate will continue to be victims.

While we welcome the call for people to be cautious, the government must now re-look and re-examine the laws and policies relating to drugs. We recognise that drugs can destroy us, but if we place all responsibility on drug mules alone and punish them with death, the problem will not go away. Instead, an innocent man/woman may be executed. Society at large should be awakened to the problem and share the responsibility.

On behalf of Cheong Chun Yinís family, we thank you for your concern and support. At the same time, we urge the Singapore government to seriously look into Cheong Chun Yinís plea, and the Malaysian government to be more concerned and take pro-active steps to help the family.

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  1. Pingback: Daily SG: 28 Apr 2011 « The Singapore Daily - April 28, 2011

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