Press Statement by DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Monday, July 26, 1982:
DAP calls on the 2M Government to act with mercy and commute the death sentence of three condemned to life imprisonment to respect both national and international opinion
The DAP calls on the Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, to act with mercy and save three condemned youths from the gallows, especially as they had not taken any life or seriously injured another.
Three ISA convicts are expected to be executed in the next three days. One of them, Lim Kwang Yeow, is expected to be executed in the early hours on Wednesday morning. Lim, 24, was arrested on Jan. 14, 1977 at the age of 18 and charged for the possession of one bullet and part of a firearm. To send a person to execution for such an offence is too harsh and draconian, and even inhuman.
The other two, Chiow Thaim Guan, 23 (arrested when he was 18 years on May 5, 1977 and convicted of possession of three hand grenades) and Tan Chay Wa, 33, for possession of a pistol and seven rounds of ammunition, are expected to be executed on the early hours of Friday morning.
The Malaysian Government under the 2M administration should temper justice with mercy, and should respect both national and international opinion, and spare the lives of these three ISA convicts, by commuting their death sentence to life imprisonment.
As a foreign organisation in France has offered to adopt Tan Chay Wa, a Singaporean, the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister, Datuk Musa Hitam, should honour the government’s pledge and offer to allow ISA detainees to be adopted by foreign countries or organisations.
If the Malaysian Government continues to defy public opinion and human sensitivities by extracting the supreme death sentence for offences of possession of firearms, value for human life would be coarsened in the country, resulting in a consequent cheapening of human dignity and worth.
The Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, should not regard it as a sign of weakness to spare the lives of the three ISA convicts. On the other hand, it is not only an act of strength, but also an act of humanity.