I am sure that everyone has heard about the case of Vui Kong by now. Above is the campaign video and story that drove me to tears while enjoying a piece of cake in Secret Recipe. I certainly hope nobody noticed me wiping my eyes!
This story has forced me to question my own opinions on the matter. It brings together two strongly held opinions into conflict – that illegal drugs are evil; that state sanctioned murder is evil. While plenty can be said about the various enlightened solutions to both evils that would never have resulted in a mandatory death sentence to Vui Kong, the immediate nature of the case makes these things moot. I had to make a decision fast on what I feel is the right thing to do in this case.
While I can sympathise with his background and story, I am reminded by the fact that there are many other people with similar stories who did not resort to being a drug mule like he did – case in point: none of his other siblings. I also question the fact that he was a repeat offender and that if the situation was turned around, he would be enjoying the riches that such high risk work gets. I also wonder at the number of other lives that he may have helped ruin in the process of his work. However, I also think that state sanctioned murder is not the right way to handle the situation.
Do I think that someone like Vui Kong deserves a second chance at life? Yes. Do I think that he will make the best of his second chance? The probabilities are stacked against him, unfortunately. He is far more likely to fall back to his old ways after a period of relative quiet. It is not his fault actually – that evil people will find their way to him is unfortunate.
Since I am of two minds about the situation, I can only direct my impotent anger at the real criminals behind this problem – the drug lords and the politicians.
If drugs were legalised, the drug lords would no longer have a business and the government would gain additional taxes. If the government got its act together to lift people out of hardcore poverty and to educate the most vulnerable groups, this scenario may have been happily averted. If the legal system had got it’s act together, they may have been able to side-step this public relations disaster.
However, neither is the case here. This is a case of an unfortunate individual, caught in a tragic situation of his own making, without the adequate resources at his disposal to handle the situation.
(A case can be made against his original public defender!)
Since Vui Kong has turned Buddhist, the only thing I can do is to hope that he finds solace in the teachings and to learn from the mistakes of this life and not to repeat them in the next. I hope that he can find peace through meditation during his final days and that he leaves this world in peace and equanimity. I can only imagine how difficult it is to be in his situation but I cannot help but think that he has no way out of this.
I know that it may sound heartless and harsh, but in this case, it is a lose-lose situation.
PS: If he has to hang, let’s try to at least bring him home and do him that little kindness. Dying in a foreign land away from his family just seems a little unnecessary.