Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader and DAP Secretary-General, Lim Kit Siang, at the meeting of the Penang DAP State Sub-Committee held in Penang on Sunday, 11th Sept. 1977 at 10 a.m.
DAP’s mass signature campaign to get the 14-year-old condemned boy out of the death cell with not only be nation-wide, but also international in character
Yesterday, at a press conference in Penang, I announced that the DAP has decided to launch a mass signature campaign to get the 14-year-old condemned boy out of the death cell.
This campaign is not only a national campaign, to get the support of all races, but an international campaign, to enlist the support and commitment of all peoples from all nations in different parts of the worlds who are shocked and revolted by the passing of a death sentence on the 14-year-old boy, and his continued condemnation in the death call.
The Attorney-General and Minister for Law, Tan Sri Kadir Yusof, said on his return from a law conference overseas that the appropriate sentence for the 14-year-old boy would be a few years in the Henry Gurney Boys’ School.
Why then this hard-heartedness, insensitivity and even inhumanity in the government’s persistence to condemn the 14-year-old boy in a death cell? The placing of the boy in a death cell is an affront to a civilised society.
Should the 14-year-old eventually be spared the death sentence, his present and continued condemnation in the death cell would render him a ‘vegetable’, without any hope of redeeming a human life.
Laws and rules must be administered and tempered with compassion and humanity, and this whole case of the 14-year-old highlights the complete absence of this quality on the part of those who has charge of this case.
The Internal Security Act which permits such gross inhumanity and disregard of basic norms of a civilised society is clearly a bad law, and the time has come for the various ISA laws to be amended or scrapped.
The DAP will contact all human rights and civil liberties organisations all over the world and ask for their help in launching and international signature campaign to complement the national signature campaign to petition for the removal of the 14-year-old boy from the death cell to a juvenile centre.
The following National Committee for the Removal of the 14-year-old condemned boy from the Death Cell has been formed:
Chairman: Lim Kit Siang, Opposition Leader
Vice Chairman: Ibrahim Singgeh, Deputy Secretary-General DAP Yeap Ghim Guan, National Vice Chairman, DAP Karpal Singh, DAP CEC member and Alor Star Assembly
Secretary: P. Pattoo, DAP National Orgainising Secretary and State Assemblyman for Gopeng, Perak
Assistant Secretaries: Yusof Bador
Chan Teck Chan, State Assemblyman, Malacca
Members: Lee Kaw, Johore State Assemblyman
Salleh Nakkhoda Hitam, State Assemblyman Perak
Loke Swee Chin
Tai Sin Piow
Sdr. Yeap Ghim Guan and Sdr. Karpal Singh would be jointly responsible for the campaign in Penang, Kedah and Perlis. State committees are in the process of being formed.
We welcome Malaysians of conscience and who cherish moral and civilised values to join us in this campaign to save the 14-year-old condemned boy from the death cell. Their services and contributions will be a great help to let, not only the Government of Malaysia, but the world, know that in Malaysia, the people of this land still have a conscience and cherish civilised values. Let this also be a demonstration that Malaysians want humane laws, which are humanely administered.
This campaign that we are launching is not only a campaign to save the soul of the 14-year-old condemned boy. It is a campaign to save the soul of Malaysia.
I urge all Malaysians to come forward and volunteer their services to put Malaysia back on the road to civilised values and humanity.