Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary- General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the Chong Bah Kong Temple, Pudu, on Wednesday, 14.8.1985 at 11 a.m.
Final plea to Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed to spare Sim’s life, not only for Sim Kie Chon, but for Malaysia’s own moral well- being and international reputation
Sim Kie Chon is likely to be hanged to death early tomorrow morning. The hunger strike by the seven DAP leaders, namely Deputy Secretary-General P.Patto, Director of DAP Political Bureau and MP for Bandar Kuching, Sim Kwang Yang, National Assistant Organising Secretary and Assemblyman for Rahang, Hu Sepang, Negri Sembilan DAP State Secretary end Assemblyman for Rasah, N. Kuppusamy, DAP Youth Secretary Tan Kok Wai, DAP youth Publicity Secretary Lee Yuen Fong and Selangor DAP Deputy Chairman, Tai Sin Piau, seeks to reach the conscience and moral feelings of the government leaders to spare Sim’ s life tomorrow.
At this eve—of—Sim’ s-execution press conference, I am making a final plea to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, to intervene to have a ‘respite’ of Sin’s execution tomorrow, to spare Sim’s life not only for Sim’s sake, But for Malaysia’s own moral well—being and our international reputation.
The Rukunegara declares ‘morality’ as a basis for nation—building in Malaysia, and it is dearly immoral and against the Rukunegara for there to be two sets of laws, two sets of justices and two sets of morality where Ministers are treated differently from ordinary citizens.
There can be no legal, judicial, moral, religious or any argument to convince Malaysians, including the young generation of Malaysians in schools, that is it is fair, equal, just and moral that Cabinet Minister Mochtar Hashim could he pardoned from the death penalty although he murdered another person, while Sim Kie Chon who did not use his firearm, nor killed or harmed anyone, could not have his death penalty commuted to life imprisonment.
If Sim Kie Chon is executed tomorrow, how are the teachers in our schools to teach Rukunegara and the goodness of morality, equality and justice, humanity and compassion, in the civics courses to our schoolchildren?
To spare Sim’s life is therefore also to save our nation’s moralfibre. It is also to redeem Malaysia’s international reputation so that we will not be regarded by the world as a barbaric, uncivilized nation which preach but does not really understand or practise the universal and religious values of humanity, equality, justice and morality.
I would urge the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir not to regard the sparing of Sim’s life as a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it will be a sign of the stregnth of the Malaysian nation, of the ompassion, humanity, and quality of a leadership which is prepared to respond to the people’s appeal.
I acknowledge in considering whether to reprieve Sim’s death penalty, the Government had also to consider the consequences of such a reprieve on the other condemned persons who had been given mandatory death sentences for unlawful possession of firearms but who did hot use the firearm to kill or injure anyone. Clearly if Sim is spared the death penalty, all the others of the same category would have to be spared as well.
The government should not have any hesitation, for it should be prepared to do what is humane, fair, equal and moral, and it must be prepared to spare Sim’s life as well as to commute the death penalty of others in the death row whose offences are akin to Sim’s.
In the Sim Kie Chon case. It is Malaysia’s moral standards that is on trial. If Sim Kie Chon is executed tomorrow, then it is the execution of Malaysia’s moral sense and the Rukunegara principle of morality as a basis of nation building.