Yong Vui Kong received a reprieve from the Court last month. He will not be hung, yet.
It is therefore not too late for him to be shown clemency.
Drug trials in Singapore have been tainted before. Once by a key prosecution witness who turned out to be a wrongdoer. And here by a presumptive Law Minister.
On 9th May 2010, Mr. K. Shanmugam had this to say " Yong Vui Kong is young..."(a hopeful start)..."But if we let him go, what is the signal we are sending". Gasp! The Law Minister prejudges (almost instructs) the Courts. A week before it decides.
Even worse, he reveals a bloodthirsty rationale. He will see this man hung to 'send a signal'. An Incan Priest in a business suit.
Vui Kong had to start working at the age of 11. He was raised by a single mother. She earned a living washing dishes by the roadside for S$80 a month. The family lived in stark poverty, hunger and deprivation. At 16 he went to Kuala Lumpur to earn a living as a kitchen helper.
At 16, Mr. Shanmugam was at the Raffles Institution. No kitchen help, he. He would go on to NUS and earn a degree in Law. But no education at all, it would seem, in humane values, or the sanctity of life. He wishes to send men to the gallows to send 'signals'.
Vui Kong was uneducated, illeterate, poor and young, he was easy prey to be manipulated.
Spared and rehabilited, he would serve as well an example of the dangers of drugs.