29 April 2008


            The Execution of Nguyen Tuong Van

            Death came on a quiet Friday, before sunrise,
            Slow as the final footsteps to the prison yard
            Abrupt as a broken neck.

            So you've crossed, Nguyen, into the clear light,
            A place without need for answers

            While we who sleep in darkness
            Grope and wrestle with our questions,
            Stumble through our savage dreams.
posted by Gilbert at Tuesday, April 29, 2008

5 Comments:

Blogger Gilbert Koh said...

This is my final version. My thanks to all you readers (Kren, Void Deck, Kite, HugeWhaleShark, Xenoboy, Noni, Patry Francis, Liz, Dave, Cocaine Jesus and Roger Stevens) who provided your valuable feedback and comments on the earlier drafts.

December 08, 2005  
Blogger Alson Teo said...

This is so much better. Nice work Gilbert. :)

December 09, 2005  
Blogger The FAIRBANK REPORT said...

Change from "Nguyen" (his surname) to "Van" (given name) or "Caleb" (his baptized name). I think the suggested change makes it a bit more "intimate."

Jonathan Fairbank

www.fairbankreport.blogspot.com

December 17, 2005  
Blogger tortoise1313 said...

Below are Nguyen's words he wrote two hours before his execution, at once chilling and tender, expressing his love and gratitude to all that knew him.

Another note from Nguyen, this one handwritten and reproduced in the book, also gives his family instructions on how he wanted a part of the service conducted.

The note was signed Caleb Van. Caleb is Nguyen's baptismal name.

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The text from the reproduced handwritten note:

Also, could you please ask everyone (at one stage) to put their hands on their hearts to feel my love, appreciation and God's awesome love.

And instead of turning to one's left and right to shake hands, please ask each one to hug instead and introduce themselves so that they shall no longer be strangers.

This is all I ask Father. God bless you.

And I shall see you soon and welcome you with our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Yours,

Caleb Van.
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The last page of the prison diary of Caleb Nguyen Tuong Van, written two hours prior to his death:

Dear Brothers and Sisters, to one and all whom have fought so hard for my life, to all who have prayed and those I have hurt, please forgive me for my sins and accept my sincere apologies.

It is now the eleventh hour. My work here is done now. Pray, may I not have failed you completely and by the Grace of God may you find strength and comfort in these words my heart now speaks to you my brothers and sisters.

As I lay here listening to the prayers being said for me I take measure of all that has taken place and what is about to be.

I am returning to the Lord now. He loves us all so much. He is in all of us. He's always been there. It is we who need to love Him.

I shall be looking down on you and shall be in all your hearts. I shall never cease to love you and can only promise I will never leave your side.

To know that I am there you need only place your hands (on) your heart and I'll be there.

I now thank each and everyone for all that has been achieved by the love you all possess. Amazing Grace because that is what you are.

I smile now as I prepare myself to return to the Lord. You all are now in my prayers. Please don't be sorry but instead celebrate the life God has made possible through his love.

These shall be my last words now. But I will see you again. Be of great faith; of greater courage and firm heart.

It is now my time. May God continue to bless you. May His light shine upon you. May He grant you Peace and bring you everlasting ife. Amen.

See you my brothers and sisters.

I love you ... and forever will.

Fear not my brothers and sisters. Fear not.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

(My words to S'pore government and all who support death penalty - )

"[One] can move from a life that does harm to one that does good," he said.

"I say to these people if you build the world upon the so-called values of retribution of vengeance then you will build the world in which some people will always seek to take drugs, because you will build a world of such unbearable harshness that people will do anything to escape it.

-It is written in bible:

'I care very little if I am judged by you or by any
human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My
conscience is clear, but that does not make me
innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore
judge nothing before this appointed time; wait till
the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden
in darkness and will expose the motives of men's
hearts. At that time, each will receive his praise
from God.'
-------------------------------------------------------------

January 05, 2006  
Blogger Danny Sillada said...

This is eloquent and moving...

January 23, 2006  

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