Second Chances, a group of Singaporeans who are against the death penalty, reported:
During interrogation, Chun Yin gave detailed descriptions and phone numbers of “Lau De”, the man who set him up. However, the CNB officers made not attempts to trace this man.
In his judgement, High Court Judge Choo Han Teck stated that “It was immaterial that the CNB did not made adequate efforts to trace Lau De or check on his cell-phones.”
Chun Yin’s clemency appeal to the President was made last April.
There has been no word from the President since then.
On Monday, 9 July 2012, the Government announced changes to the mandatory death penalty, which Chun Yin had been sentenced under. Mainly, accused in drug trafficking and murder cases may now escape mandatory death if they satisfy two conditions. Inmates currently on Singapore’s death row, who have been sentenced to death, may apply for re-sentencing to have their death sentences commuted to life imprisonment and caning.
The two conditions are:
1) Trafficker must only have played the role of courier, and not have been involved in any other activity related to supply/distribution of drugs.
2) Trafficker must have cooperated with CNB in a substantive way, or have mental disability impairing appreciation of the gravity of the act.
While the exact words of the proposed amendments are yet to be established, the changes have given Mr Cheong – and his son – renewed hope that the younger man will be spared the death sentence.
It is the light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel for both men. A temporary relief, perhaps.
Mr Cheong has been travelling between Johor Bahru, where he lives, and Singapore regularly, to visit his son at Changi Prison. At times, Mr Cheong – who rides a motorbike – would get into accidents because his mind is preoccupied with thoughts of his son. He showed this writer the lesions on his right shin, a result of another recent accident.
It is also evident that the prospect of having his son taken from him forever has taken a toll on Mr Cheong. His eyes tell a tale of sorrow, and his voice one of despair and desperation.
Mr Cheong’s plea has been the same since Chun Yin’s arrest – “Please give my son another chance.” He repeated the plea several times during our short interview with him on Wednesday.
Perhaps a second chance will now be given to his son, in light of the changes to the law. But nothing is confirmed and the road is still fraught with uncertainty. Mr Cheong is nonetheless cautiously hopeful that his son will be given a reprieve.
He will be visiting his son on Thursday morning, along with lawyer M Ravi. When asked what he would tell Chun Yin, Mr Cheong said, “[I will] tell him not to worry.” He said he will also let his son know that the Government has made changes to the law and that there is hope that Chun Yin’s life may be spared.
Here is a short video of the interview publichouse.sg did with Mr Cheong: