Leung Chun-ying

Chief Executive CY Leung makes second plea for clemency over Hongkonger facing death over drugs

Leader makes formal plea on behalf of Hong Kong woman in jail in Malaysia after her mother and son appeal for help

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 April, 2017, 8:44pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 April, 2017, 5:09pm

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has made a formal plea for clemency to the Malaysian authorities for a Hong Kong woman who has been sentenced to death for drug trafficking. It is the second such case in recent weeks.

Lam Chun-wing, who is in her early 50s, was arrested at Penang airport in 2010 for trafficking 1.8kg of cocaine and sentenced to death in August 2011.

“She was just trying to help an elderly person carry luggage,” her 80-year-old mother surnamed Siew said, adding that Lam was about to leave when the bag was found to contain drugs.

Leung first made a plea for clemency for Hongkonger Anika Lai Shiu-cheung, who was sent to a notorious Indonesian “execution island” last month. It remains uncertain whether Lai’s death sentence will be commuted.

Siew, a Malaysian Chinese who moved to Hong Kong, said she had visited her daughter on numerous occasions and had liaised with a local Buddhist rights association to seek help.

“All I hope is that the Hong Kong government will help save my daughter,” said Siew, who underwent surgery last month for a heart problem. “I don’t know any other way to help my daughter.”

With the help of non-governmental organisation Amnesty International, Siew had written to the chief executive’s office since 2015 seeking clemency. The office confirmed it had already acted on the plea.

Lam’s son, Echo Hui, 21, urged the government to help Hongkongers who get into trouble overseas.

“My mother does not know English and the courts do not provide her with a suitable translation service. She cannot enjoy fair legal proceedings, ” Hui said, adding that she was learning English in prison.

He only learned about his mother’s plight two years ago, as his family did not want him to get worried when he was studying in secondary school.

Senior Amnesty campaigner Chan man-wai said the organisation had got to know of five cases of Hongkongers facing the death penalty in overseas prisons in recent years.

“In some cases, they made the confession under torture and they were forced to pay the authorities before they could find lawyers and contact relatives,” Chan said.

The campaigner called on the government to protect the human rights of Hongkongers when they are overseas.

Anika Lai’s mother, Shiu Yuk-chee, said her son was tortured and forced to admit he had trafficked 91kg of crystal methamphetamine. She said proper translation services were not provided.

The Immigration Department said it had provided suitable assistance to the two families in close liaison with the foreign ministry office in Hong Kong and the Chinese embassies in Malaysia and Indonesia.