By Patrick Lee (FMT)
KUALA LUMPUR: A PKR leader promised that if convicted Malaysian drug mule Yong Vui Kong is hanged, it will have grave repercussions.
“I warn the Singaporean government: if they hang Yong, I will come back and bring a coffin here! (Singapore High Commission),” said Kapar MP S Manikavasagam.
He also took a swipe at Foreign Minister Anifah Aman for not doing enough.
“I am ashamed of the minister. He should put more pressure on the Singapore government,” he said.
Added human rights lawyer N Surendran: “Our government claims that it’s doing great things for this country. But if it cannot stand up for one Malaysian in trouble overseas, can Malaysians rely on the government?”
Earlier, Manikavasagam and Surendran joined some 20 mostly PKR members to present a memorandum to the Singapore High Commission here today. Also present were Teluk Intan MP M Manogaran and PKR information chief Latheefa Koya.
The memorandum protested against the denial of the judicial process for Yong and called on the Singapore government to spare Yong’s life. The memorandum was drafted by Lawyers for Liberty.
Yong was arrested by Singaporean authorities in 2007 for drug trafficking. Aged 18 at the time, the Sabahan was sentenced to death, and subsequently appealed to Singapore President SR Nathan for clemency.
According to the memorandum, the Singapore High Court in August had said that Nathan did not have the power to pardon prisoners on death row.
It also said that Singapore Law Minister K Shanmugam had affected the outcome of Yong’s appeal against the death penalty. Before Yong’s appeal was heard, Shanmugam had said, “Yong Vui Kong is young. But if we let him go, what signal are we sending?”
The memorandum also said that Yong’s petition for clemency was dismissed before it was filed. “In the face of death, Yong has been denied the fundamental right to be heard,” it added.
Yong’s death sentence has been branded as “illegal”. Said lawyer Fadiah Nakwa Fikri, who was in the group: “We are asking the Singapore government to be answerable to this. We are asking them to show some compassion (to Yong), and that he be given the due process under the law.”
Added Surendran: “What is the Malaysian government doing? It is keeping quiet. Our foreign minister should quit because he is not taking up the cause of a Malaysian who is facing an illegal execution.”
PKR leaders were also disappointed that the High Commissioner was not present today despite having agreed to meet them.
The group was told that the commissioner was not at his office.
The memorandum was handed over to the High Commission’s First Secretary, Walter Chia.