Call on UMNO and PAS to support the Mission of Mercy to grave the condemned, Sim Kie Chon, from hangman’s rope

Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary- General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, when launching the DAP Save Condemned Sim Kie Chong mass signature campaign in Seremban on Thursday 1.8.1985 at 12 noon.

Call on UMNO and PAS to support the Mission of Mercy to grave the condemned, Sim Kie Chon, from hangman’s rope.

I have come to Seremban to formally launch the DAP Save Condemned Sim Kie Chon mass signature campaign in Negri Sembilan.

The DAP has launched this Mercy Campaign not only to save Sim Kie Chon from the gallows, but also to uphold Article 8 of the on equality of all Malaysians before the law, as well as the Rukunegara principle of morality as a pillar of our nation building.

It is clearly unjust and immoral that a Cabinet Minister who killed another person could be pardoned while an ordinary citizen who bad unlawful possession of firearm but did not kill or harm anyone should die.

The campaign is also to save Malaysia’s international reputation for we would otherwise be regarded as a barbaric, uncivilised and unjust nation and people if there are such blatant double standards in o laws and justice.

The campaign of save Sim Kie Chong in based on humanitarian and national grounds, and rises above race or religion. For this reason, I would call UMNO and PAS to come forward to support the Mission of Mercy to save the Condemned Sim Kie Chon from the hangman rope.

UMNO has always claimed that a1thouh it is a Ma1ay party, it is Malaysian—oriented. This is a time for UMNO to prove itself. Sim Kie Chon must not be seen as a Chinese, but as a Malaysian, and UMNO should show to all Malaysians that it is not demanding that it is not demanding that UMNO Ministers should have special privilege from the ful1 rigours of the law, while ordinary citizens, whatever their race, must be harshly punished even if their offences are very much 1ighter.

PAS should also support the Mission of Mercy. Recently, PAS had been holding ceramahs in various parts of the country to try to woo non-Malays and non-Muslims to convince them that PAS political struggle not based on narrow race or religious grounds.

This is also the time for PAS to prove itself, for it is clearly gross injustice from any standpoint that Cabinet Minister Moohtar Hashim, who killed Negri Sembilan State Assembly Speaker, Datuk Taha, in the 1982 general elections, could be pardoned, but not an ordinary citizen who had unlawful possession of a revolver.

Le the Sim Kie Chon case be an opportunity for all Malaysians to demonstrate that could approach problems from a humanitarian and national point of view, and not solely from racial angle.

DAP support the Bar proposal that the Attorney- General should not be a member of any Pardons Board

The DAP fully supports a motion which would be presented at the Malaysian Bar Council extraordinary general meeting on August 10 that the Attorney- General or his representative should not be a member of any Pardons Board in the F duration or any State of Federal Territory.

It would have been the Attorney- General himself who, in the first instance, would have certified an accused to be tried as a ‘security case’ which carries the mandatory death sentence on conviction, and it the Attorney- General is clearly not going to recommend his the pardon of the accused and reprieve from death penalty, after conviction and death sentenee had been passed. The AG would have acted a ladge during

This would be tantamount to the Attorney-General admitting that his exercise of the discretion to charge the condemned person under mandatory death sentence law was wrong!

It is ten year since the Attorney-General was given the power under the Essential (Security Cases) Regulations 1975 to deicde whether to charge a person under mandatory death penalty 1aws such as 57 of the Internal Security Act 1960.

Such arbitrary powers has confined on the Attorney—General ‘life and death’ power, for the Courts had Been stripped of the powers of parsing sentence depending on the gravity of the offences. The Court could only pass the death penalty on conviction, and many judges 1ud bitterly complained their inability to pass a lighter sentence on conviction.

The Sim Kie Chon case has highlighted the iniquity and injustice of such ‘life and death’ arbitrary powers in the hands of the Attorney- General even before a person is charged. With the Attorney—General on the Pardons Board, the dance of a condemned person getting a fair chance of pardon by the Pardons Board is very much reduced.

The DAP cal is for the immediate suspension or the Attorney- General’s arbitrary discretionary powers to cetitfy cases as ‘security cases carrying the mandatory death penalty, and the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into exercise of such power by the Attorney-General. The Royal Commission of Inquiry should examine every such ‘security case’ and ascertain whether it had been fairly done. The Royal Commission of Inquiry could then make recommendations as to whether the Attorney-General’s ‘life and death’ power should be removed or retained.