Vui Kong’s case: M’sian MPs allege bias in sentencing

Opposing parliamentarians joined hands in asking the government to refer the case of Malaysian Yong Vui Kong who is on Singapore’s death row for drug trafficking, to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), alleging a nationality bias in his sentencing.

“We have filed an application in the republic’s Supreme Court claiming that the prosecution in exercising its discretionary power to prosecute, had, prima facie, acted discriminatorily against him, thus violating his rights under Article 12 of the Singaporean constitution on equal treatment,” said Save Vui Kong Campaign coordinator lawyer Ngoew Chow Ling in a update on the case.

azlanSpeaking to reporters at a press conference in the Parliament lobby today flanked by MPs from both sides of the aisle, Ngoew alleged that depositions and testimonies made during Vui Kong’s trial had showed that two more Singaporeans – Chia Choon Leng, the alleged drug trafficking mastermind behind the narcotic smuggling, and Koh Bak Kiang, a drug mule, were also involved but received more cordial treatment.

All charges against Chia were dropped by the prosecution although he is currently being detained under executive order without trial.

Koh, who pleaded guilty to transporting 14.99 grams of morphine, escaped the mandatory death penalty for transporting 15 grams or more of the drug, and is serving a prison term.

Yong (left) who was caught with 47.27 grams of the same drug was sentenced to death by the republic’s court.

Ngoew is alleging that there is a bias on how the prosecution dealt so severely with Yong but alleged the two locals were afforded leniency.

“The Foreign Ministry should refer this to the ICJ, as he was discriminated and treated cruelly… What action are they going to take? Why are they allowing this injustice against a Malaysian to go on?” asked PKR’s Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah.

‘Punish drug lord’

Nurul’s plea was supported from across the aisle by Chua Soon Bui (BN Tawau).

“When I was in New York the other day, I brought this matter before the Malaysian ambassador for human rights. We are hoping for a judicial review of his sentencing. They should punish the drug lord, not the drug mules who are victims themselves,” said Chua.

Asked if the Singapore government is intentionally victimising Malaysians given that a German national once caught with a quantity of drugs, way above the mandatory death penalty limit, was let off, DAP’s Bukit Bendera MP Liew Chin Tong (right) who was also present, said that it was up to the republic’s judiciary.

“The facts are there, it is up to the judges to consider if it was a fair trial,” he said.

Meanwhile when asked how much the Malaysian government was doing to help Malaysians who face trials overseas, many with possible death sentences, Ngeow said that there was a lot to be desired.

“As far as I know, there is not much support,” she lamented.

The death sentence meted out against Yong by the island state has caused more strain to the already problematic Malaysia-Singapore relations.

It does not help that Malaysia which has the same tough anti-drug laws as the city state, had executed several Singaporeans for drug smuggling.

Yong’s appeal and attempts to mitigate his sentence has been denied up to the level of a presidential pardon. The former drug mule now awaits his sentence on death row as supporters continue to cry foul and question his fast track to the noose.

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