Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Death Penalty: Victory for Precious Human Life

Referring to the 2 news links below, I welcome the easing of the mandatory death sentence. Ever since Yong Vui Kong's case was highlighted, I had prayed for him and even wrote 2 blog posts explaining about the Buddhist philosophy of preciousness of human lives and in what situations would a death penalty apply. Refer to my blog posts dated Aug 27, 2010 and July 31, 2011. I said that only in certain restricted cases should the death sentence be handed down on the person who committed it. And I wanted to sent what I wrote to both the Malaysian PM as well as the Singapore President. I forgotten whether eventually I sent to them or not. Eventually I think I chose to go through the YBAM (Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia). I urged them to follow up the case with the relevant parties and I advised them how to help Vui Kong's case. I told them when we help a person, it must not appear as if we are only concerned about him. In fact, we must extent our scope to include everybody. In other words, if we truly wanted to help Vui Kong, we must support the moratorium or easing of the death penalty. We cannot say spare Vui Kong from the death penalty. Then what about others? Can you ignore others? Is Vui Kong's life more important than others? I told them in order for Singapore President to pardon Vui Kong or commute it to a life sentence, YBAM must build a stronger case, i.e. support a restricted death penalty, not only in Singapore and Malaysia but also world-wide. The blogposts I wrote were viewed by many people, including researchers into death penalties. People like Vui Kong who only serve as their carrier, and not the manufacturer or the master-mind behind the drug trafficking (i.e. the drug lords), then I wrote that he (and others like him) does not deserve the death penalty. If anything, he deserved to be whipped and imprisoned. I said that even public caning can be a deterrence. When people see how painful it is to be whipped, they will think twice before they do it. It is because people don't see the punishment and don't feel the punishment, that they think it is okay to commit crime. So, even though just a small role, I am happy I played a role in support of the easing of the death sentence in Singapore but yet still retaining the death sentence. I know some people are keen to totally abolish it but in my blog posts, I had argued that it could still be relevant in certain cases. I guest I got what I wanted. Then from the article below, I am happy that Malaysia is thinking of following the same. Refer the news links below. Even though I am not sure if Yong Vui Kong is still alive or not, I sure hope it is not too late. Then again, it is not too late to help others like him who were mere pawns for the real criminals, i.e. the drug barons. I congratulate the Singapore Government for the bravery to amend its laws and leading the way for others to follow suit. Amitabha!

News references:​msia-mulls-scrapping-death-pena​​ml

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