The DAP Organising Secretary, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, today (16.8.68) issued the following statement:
The people of all races in Malaysia, and of all nationalities throughout the world, sighed with relief on the announcement by the Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, declaring a stay of execution of the 11 condemned youths.
Malaysia, which has been standing trial at the bar of world opinion for six weeks as to whether we are a nation of mercy, compassion, and humanity, or whether we are an unfeeling, callous and heartless people, has gone some way to redeem her name and image in the world.
For six weeks, the liberal conscience throughout the would have been agitated by the Malaysian government’s grim and intransigent determination to hang the 13 youths. No appeals, however insistent, and regardless of where they came from, whether from the relatives and parents of the condemned youths, the 100,000 Malaysians who signed the national petition for clemency, civic, trade union and international organisations, the Socialist International, the Amnesty International, international scholars, and even the Pope, seemed to be able to move the Johore Pardons Board and the Malaysian Government.
But on the eve of the hanging of the 11 youths, who had already lived for four years under the shadow of death, the Tunku’s announcement of the stay of execution gave hope that the 11 young lives may be spared, and that Malaysians in years to come need not hang their heads in shame when this case is mentioned.
The gates of mercy have not been completely shut, and there are still men among the authorities who could respond to international pleas for humanity and compassion.
We urge Tunku Abdul Rahman to put a stop to the national Malaysian agony of conscience, and completely redeem our image as a nation of humanity, by immediately urging the Sultans of Johore and Perak to commute the death sentence of the 13 youths to life imprisonment.
The people of Malaysian and the world are convinced that if only the Tunku would vigorously take up the cause of mercy and humanity, the condemned youths will never need to take the last walk to death at the hangman’s gallows.
In further effort to mobilise public and international opinion in the cause of mercy and humanity, the DAP Secretary-General, Mr. Goh Hock Guan, will leave for Copenhagen tomorrow morning to join the DAP National Chairman, Dr. Chen Man Hin, to move a motion urging the Socialist International Conference to add the voices of all its affiliate parties, including the British Labour Party, the German Social Democratic Party, the Japanese Democratic Socialist Party, the Japanese Socialist Party, the Australian Labour Party, the Italian Socialist Party, the French Socialist Party, to appeal for clemency on behalf of the 13 condemned.
The Socialist International is a world-wide association of 55 democratic socialist parties, whose member parties have a membership of 13 million people and command the support of over 70 million voters. A third of these parties govern their countries, either alone or in coalition.
The DAP branches at Jalan Sultan and Jalan Pasar Bahru, Pudu, will continue to receive donations on behalf of the condemned. Humane and compassionate Malaysians are urged to help the parents of the condemned, who in the last four years, have used up every cent of their savings in their attempt to save the lives of their children.
Audited on 2021-04-08.