Amos Yee case exposes Singapore’s forced harmony, sacrificial freedoms

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Amos Yee

Amos Yee waves as he leaves the State Courts after his trial in Singapore May 12, 2015. A Singapore court on Tuesday found the teenager guilty of offending Christians and spreading obscene image in an online post that also carried comments celebrating the death of former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew. REUTERS/Edgar Su

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Singapore intolerantly forces tolerance on its residents, crushing criticism and dissent with vague laws that criminalize obscenity and religious insult. The latest victim of this hypocrisy? Foul-mouthed teen blogger Amos Yee.

  • Rob

    Why is this 16 year old cussing like a drunken sailor? He has the right to speak his mind, but those cuss words are cringeworthy.

    He does not deserve jail time but needs to wash his mouth with some soap water for cussing.

  • Take a cane to him like they did Michael Fay.

  • JR

    Singapore is probably the safest country in Asia. Growing third world nations probably need to go through tough, autocratic times to eventually emerge civilized and democratic. We, of course, become outraged at actions like this…but Singapore is not America….and its citizens are familiar with the laws of their country.

  • Daniel

    Your article reads like an outsider’s caricature of “Singapore: the authoritarian Asian state”.

    It’s no longer accurate to say he was “threatened with 3 years’ jail”. Upon conviction, the prosecution asked for probation and specifically recommended a non-custodial sentence. They are aware of his youth and do not wish to ruin his future.

    I would also hesitate to call his Youtube channel “popular”. Most of his videos have an overwhelmingly poor “likes” rating. And they were already reviled long before the LKY saga- he had first drawn public ire with his Chinese New Year video back in 2012.

    Lastly, he has callously accused his volunteer bailor of molesting him, then, in a cavalier fashion, revealed it was just to troll the media.

    We should never have fed this troll.

    On legal background, you mentioned some statutes. If you’ve read up on how they’ve actually been applied though, it’s a different story, especially in the last 20 years. The MRHA, for…

  • His offence is equivalent to Michael Fay’s vandalism on cars, His is vandalism on characters. So I totally agree with your solution.

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  • Larry

    Japan is one of the safest countries in Asia as well, and they freedom of speech and religion. You can be thrown in jail for

    Singapore’s growth came from democratization. Having courts and a legal system known for being reliable for foreign investors to do business without attendant fears of corruption.

    All these “religious offense” laws do is curtail speech and keep sectarian resentments under the surface. For a great example one has to look no further than Yugoslavia. 3 major faiths were forbidden to say a bad word to each other under Tito. Once that was removed, the old hatreds came to the surface homicidally.

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