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Vui Kong's Letters, Yong Vui Kong

Letters from Vui Kong – The Eighth Letter : The Power of Support

Yong Vui Kong is a death row inmate in Singapore. He was arrested at age 19 with 47.27g of heroin, convicted of trafficking and sentenced under the Mandatory Death Penalty. His final appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on 4 April 2011. He can now only plead for clemency from the President (acting on the advice of the Cabinet).

If the President does not grant clemency to Vui Kong, these will be the last 12 letters he will ever write.

The following is the eighth letter:

第七章 :《支持的力量》

野田:

我听说过这样一个故事。

有一个年轻人,他犯了错,被判入狱。许久,他的家人没有来看他。当他看到其他狱友的家人带着好吃的食物来看他们时,他的心里很不高兴,也责怪爸爸妈妈。

终于有一天,狱长说有人来看他了。进到会客室,他见到他的妈妈,身上很肮张,鞋子烂了,脚上也长了水泡。妈妈的背后,背着一个骨灰缸。

原来,他家很穷,爸爸是一个农夫。家里离开监狱很远。爸爸为了筹钱来看他,拼命做工而累死了。爸爸的最后遗愿是要看他一面,所以妈妈背着爸爸的骨灰缸一路走来看他了。

听说这是个真实的故事,也好像被拍成一 部电影。

在这里,每个星期一,是家人见死囚的日子。

我的家人也住得很远。还好,有两个哥哥在新加坡的酒店里工作。他们向公司申请星期一放假来看我。我听哥哥说,这么多年来,每个星期一,他都会见到一位妇人,拐着拐着, 头发由黑变白,来看她的家人,可能是孩子吧。 还有,律师也说过,有一位死囚的爸爸,每个星期一的凌晨三点,从新山驾摩多过来,为了赶在最早的时间看他的儿子。

所以,我们算是很幸福的死囚。

其实,当我们的生命被冠上“死囚”两个字的时候,最希望得到什么?让我这个死囚来告诉你。 最希望的就是得到家人在旁的关心和支持。这个,我有;我在监狱里度过的日子都有运良和运中的陪伴,我们兄弟间的感情改善了。

那种期待的心情,我很难可以表达。我对我的家人,除了感恩,还是感恩。我要好好的利用这段时间,努力学习,好好做人,来报答他们。

可是我知道,有很多的死囚从来没有人来看过他们,可能除了他们的律师以外。律师也是很久很久才来一次的。尤其是那些不是新加坡人的死囚。可能他们的家人也不知道他们被关了起来。可能他们的情形就好像上面提到那年轻人的故事那样。可能他们死了家人也不知道。我的心里很不好受。

我说我是幸福的,我很感恩。我知道,我的家人,给了我很多的支持。他们没有放弃我。

我的姐姐妹妹,还有其他的亲戚朋友,他们到街头要求路边不认识的人签名,请求总统给我特赦。他们没有要求我被放出来,只是希望我不会被吊死。

我的妹妹才19岁,她很怕跟陌生人讲话,可是还是勇敢的做了。我的哥哥在他空挡的两个小时,在乌节路找人签名。其实我知道,他们都很难受,都很辛苦。也常常挨骂,因为有人会骂他们,说为什么要救我,说应该因为我而感到羞耻,说我最该万死。因为我,他们要承受这种压力,我真的不知道该怎么说。

我有时在想,其他死囚的家人,会不会也在受这种压力。会不会因为这样而放弃他们。甚至不认他们了。如果是,我相信无论是家人和死囚,他们都很痛苦的。身在其中,我好像可以感受到他们的难处和折磨。阿弥舵佛。

在很多人的眼里,我们这些被关起来的人,是大罪人,不值得一提。可是我们的家人不是。他们要面对我们将被吊死的事实,已经是很痛苦,很残忍的了。

如果一个死囚没有家人、朋友、社会的关注,再加上没有坚定的信仰的话,他可能在还没有被处决之前,心灵上已经死了。

很多死囚因为知道自己要死了,意志消沉;而在外不停为他们祈祷的家人,根本没有办法,死囚也因此认为自己没救了,就慢慢的放弃自己的生命,家人也在他们被处决之前,就当作他们已经死了。

没错,很多都是这样。

可能我和菩萨有缘,或是我前世修来的福气,又或者如我爸说的,我的命很硬,有机会接触佛法,这让我在心灵上有了一定的信念;另外,我也碰见了好的律师,最重要的是,我知道社会上有一班人在为我请愿,我知道他们原谅我关心我,也在给我的家人支持,这些都给了我一种信心。

生命可贵,我上了一课。

杨伟光

English translation:

The Eighth Letter: The Power of Support

Yetian:

I have heard a story.

There is a young man, he committed an offence and was sent to prison. For a long time, his family did not visit him. Whenever he saw that other inmates had their families to bring food for them, he felt unhappy and blamed his parents.

One day, the prison warden told him that someone had come to visit him. When he entered the visitor room, he saw his mother, she was dirty, shoes broken, and her feet full of blisters. She was carrying an urn of ashes.

He came from a poor family, his father was a farmer. Their home was very far away from the prison. In order to gather enough money to see him, his father worked too hard and died as a result. His father’s last wish was to see his son. Therefore, his mother carried his father’s ashes and walked all the way to see him.

I heard that this is a real life story, and it has been made into a movie.

Here, every Monday, is the family visiting day for death row inmates.

My family also lives far away from here. Luckily, I have two brothers who work in a hotel in Singapore. They have applied for leave from work every Monday so that they can visit me. I heard from my brother that over the past few years, he sees a woman every Monday, walking slowly, hairs turning from dark to white, to come to visit someone, maybe her son. And, my lawyer also told me that a father to a death row inmate wakes up at 3am every Monday, rides on his motorcycle across the Straits, so that he can see his son as early as possible.

Thus, we are considered lucky death row inmates.

In fact, when we are marked as “death row”, what are our wishes? Allow me as a death row inmate to tell you. Our wish is to have our family’s concern and support. This, I have; during these days in prison, I have my brothers, Yun Leong and Yun Chong’s company, and the relationship between us has improved.

It is very difficult for me to express our feeling on how much we look forward to visits. I am grateful to my family. I must utilise my remaining time fruitfully, study hard and be a good man, in order to repay them.

But I know that a lot of death row inmates do not have anyone to come and visit them, maybe other than their lawyers. Even lawyers only visit them once in a long period of time. Especially those inmates who are not Singaporean. Maybe their families do not know that they are here being locked up. Maybe their situation is like the story of the young man I mentioned above. Maybe even if they are dead, their family will not find out. I am sadden by these facts.

I said I am a lucky one, I am grateful. I know that my family had given me a lot of support. They did not give up on me.

My sisters, and other relatives and friends, they went out to the streets to ask for signatures from strangers, to plead to the President to grant me clemency. They did not ask that I be released from prison, but to spare my life so that I will not be hanged.

My younger sister is only 19 years old, she is always afraid to talk to strangers, yet she mustered the courage to do it. My brother, whenever he had his two-hour break, stood at Orchard Road asking for signatures. I know that it is hard for them, it is difficult. They are also often being scolded. There are people who scold them, asking why they should help me, saying that they should be ashamed of me, saying that I deserve to die. Because of me, my family has to go through this kind of stress, I really don’t know what to say.

Sometimes I think to myself, the families of other death row inmates, are they facing the same stress? Would it be because of this, they give up on them, to the point of disowning them? If it would, then I believe that whether it is the family or the death row inmate himself, they must be very tormented. Because I am in the same situation, I can almost feel their difficulties and the torture. Amithaba.

In the eyes of many, we who have been locked up must be a big evil, not worth mentioning. But our families are not. They have to face the fact that we are going to be hanged to death, it is already very torturous, and cruel thing.

If a death row inmate does not have concern from his family, friends and the society, coupled with the fact of not having a strong faith, then maybe before he is executed, he is already dead in his heart.

A lot of death row inmates know that they are going to die, they lose their will to live; and their families who pray for them day and night, do not know what to do. As a result, they will think there is no more hope, and slowly give up on their own life, and their family also treats them as being already dead even before they are executed.

Yes, a lot are like that.

Maybe it is my fate with the Goddess of Guang Yin, maybe it is the luck I gathered from the good deeds I did in my previous life, or maybe like what my father said, my life is “tough”, I have the opportunity to find faith in Buddhism teachings, this makes me strong spiritually; plus, I have a good lawyer, and most importantly, I know that there are those in the society who plead for me, I know that they have forgiven me and they care for me, and are also giving my family the support they need, all these add to my confidence in life.

Life is precious, I learned.

Yong Vui Kong

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  1. Pingback: Daily SG: 9 Jun 2011 « The Singapore Daily - June 9, 2011

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