Rants of a Weird Little Bird

Random stuff involving myself…and people around me. Hello, and goodbye. :-)

Singapore Government Interference in Amos Yee’s Asylum Bid? Get Real.

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On Amos Yee’s page, a post put up today reads as follows:

We would like to thank those who are concerned about Amos’s situation. Your love and outpouring of concern is greatly appreciated.

We would like to take a moment to address a statement that was made by ambassador Bilahari Kausikan “In fact the well-being of the boy and his family were probably the least of their considerations if this was ever a consideration in the first place.”

http://www.theindependent.sg/amos-yee-fb-pages-conspiracy-…/

We appreciate your concerns ambassador for Amos’s well being. We are well aware that Amos’s imprisonment in Singapore and in the US would have a negative impact on his psychological well being, he is still a young developing mind. The activists working with Amos have taken his mental health into consideration. We have found for Amos two professionals who are willing to work with Amos pro bono. One is a licensed family therapist the other is a licensed psychologist. One has already worked with Amos and will continue to do so in the future; the other is now in the process of obtaining special privileges to work with Amos directly while he is incarcerated. Both have agreed to provide Amos with help once he has been released from detention. Considerations for his psychological well-being were made with Amos’s family prior to his departure as activists have been in contact with Amos’s mother at all times.

As for the statement “[those] who encouraged the boy to seek asylum” in the US for “making use of the boy and their family for their own anti-government agenda from the very beginning.” Amos chose to come to the US of his own free will. Amos and his family were never at any point “cynically manipulated” into carrying out any actions. Amos of his own free will chose to come to the US and his family was well aware of his decision to do so and the obstacles that he might face. Those that know Amos know very well that he isn’t easily manipulated as he has a strong will. It is Amos who chose his departure date and committed to the plan. Activists working with Amos only became aware at the last moment as to which date he chose. He wanted to do it this way for secrecy reasons.

Our suspicions for possible government interference are just suspicions but they are not unfounded. Even Amos’s most vocal critics such as Lester978 who runs a popular anti-Amos blog agrees that:

“I would be surprised if the Singapore gov. would simply let the ruling stand and not kick up a fuss about it. Let me now qualify that statement further in no uncertain terms: it would be inconceivable of the Singapore Government/Embassy not to move heaven and earth to redress the obloquy inflicted on the nation by the existing misrule — all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if need be.”

http://archive.is/BNT4H

If Wikileaks has taught us anything it is that what goes behind closed doors by those in power are not always what they seem to be.

Let’s look at the posting in detail.

“We have found for Amos two professionals who are willing to work with Amos pro bono.”

Pro bono again? His parents are not poor. On what basis does he deserve to have everything given to him for free? As someone said, Amos takes the notion of the USA being a “free country” too literally.

Amos of his own free will chose to come to the US and his family was well aware of his decision to do so and the obstacles that he might face.

And yet these “well aware” family members didn’t tell Amos anything about the obstacles that he faced, as can be seen from this Facebook posting, where he said the following:

…my court date (not release day) is scheduled for 30th January. Yes, you heard that right, fucking 30th January. What the fuck?!

That means I will literally have spent a total of 50 days in American jail, that is longer than anything that the Singaporean government has sentenced me for…

What the fuck? What the fuck?! This is bullshit! This is fucking bullshit! And the worst part is nobody really knows about these kinds of awful immigration policies existed in America. (Emphasis this blogger’s)

So his family was “well aware” of his asylum bid and “the obstacles he might face”, and yet they didn’t seem to inform him very well about immigration policies in the USA.

Those that know Amos know very well that he isn’t easily manipulated as he has a strong will. It is Amos who chose his departure date and committed to the plan. Activists working with Amos only became aware at the last moment as to which date he chose. He wanted to do it this way for secrecy reasons.

Ok, he chose the date, so who planted the idea of asylum in his mind? If he wanted to keep his departure date a secret, then how did these activists know about his departure “at the last moment”?

Our suspicions for possible government interference are just suspicions but they are not unfounded. Even Amos’s most vocal critics such as Lester978 who runs a popular anti-Amos blog agrees that:

“I would be surprised if the Singapore gov. would simply let the ruling stand and not kick up a fuss about it. Let me now qualify that statement further in no uncertain terms: it would be inconceivable of the Singapore Government/Embassy not to move heaven and earth to redress the obloquy inflicted on the nation by the existing misrule — all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if need be.”

Oh dear. It’s hard not to laugh.

Firstly, this blogger has serious doubts that the Singaporean government would go out of its way to get Amos Yee back. The bulk of Singaporeans, whether they support the PAP or not, have encouraged the USA to keep him. Singapore, by and large, is glad to have one less delinquent on its shores, thank you very much.

Secondly, even if the Singaporean government did approach the USA to reject Amos Yee’s asylum bid, is the USA, a country with the most nuclear weapons, aircraft carriers and sophisticated weaponry in the world that weak-willed to simply do the biddings of a government which appears only as a red dot on the world map? The last time I checked, the USA has incurred China’s wrath by accepting Chinese dissidents. Why would it even listen to Singapore?

This blogger, like these American bloggers maintaining Amos Yee’s page, doesn’t know, if there is any kind of covert interference by the Singapore government (he doubts it).

However, he can name overt interference by Singaporeans in Amos Yee’s case, in the form of Kenneth Jeyaretnam and Melissa Chen.

And while this blogger is not privileged to know how much viewership Lester Kok gets, it’s a big stretch of the imagination to call his blog “a popular anti-Amos blog”. Judging by the number of comments on his blog posts (not even 10 per post usually!), the number isn’t too big.

The Lester Kok blog is not “an anti-Amos blog”. Lester Kok blogs about many other things as well. Aside from talking about Amos Yee, he also blogs about Singapore politics, talking about both PAP and the opposition.

Scraping the bottom of the barrel much, Amos Yee supporters?

Written by aweirdlittlebird

May 24, 2017 at 4:04 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Amos Yee’s Outburst to Han Hui Hui

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Just a few days ago, Singaporean activist Han Hui Hui uploaded a video clip of someone talking, purportedly from Amos Yee. If true, it shows his current state of mind.

Transcript:

Hi, Hui Hui, I’m Amos from American jail. I’m very disappointed that there has not been enough publicity on my case right now, and because of that, you haven’t been able to effectively pressurise the judge to make my court date as soon as possible.

Right now, the judge is taking his own sweet time, making his written decision, and, because all of you did not pressurise him and chose to play it safe, he’s taking his own sweet time, and I have – because of that, I’m in jail for far longer. All of you need to pressurise him much more. You all need to make it as big as possible, do as many public protests [as possible], write as many reports [as possible]. I want to do any interviews that any reporters want.

You all need to pressurise him so that I can get out of jail earlier. The jail conditions are f****** horrible. You all should know it. You all have to make it as big as possible. Playing it safe is just not strategic. It is just not strategic. You guys are f****** up. You guys should f****** pressurise the judge and make it as big as possible.

Thank you.

Quick thoughts if this video is real:

  1. It is extremely likely that Melissa Chen, the Singaporean activist in America, has received a similar phone message like this. Is that why Melissa Chen has effectively washed her hands off him? (In her facebook page, she hasn’t posted anything about Amos Yee for a long time.)
  2. Does he really think that the judge in the USA is someone who can be swayed by public pressure from people living in Singapore? Even Americans have trouble influencing American judges – what more influence can Singaporeans halfway round the world have?
  3. He’s been saying how comfortable the US “jail” (it isn’t a jail – it’s a detention centre) is for him – so now, it appears that he’s changed his mind.
  4. It would be interesting to hear what the judge makes of this – if he really wants asylum, jail time like this should be “a minor inconvenience” (in his own words). Given that the judge’s verdict is coming this week, he would pronounce it. If the verdict turns out to be that Amos gets to stay in the USA, the Department of Homeland Security might appeal – given Amos Yee’s outburst to Han Hui Hui in this phone recording, they might have more proof that Amos Yee is not someone really desperate for asylum.

Written by aweirdlittlebird

March 20, 2017 at 1:47 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Why Amos Yee Does Not Deserve Asylum

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By now, all of you must have heard that Amos Yee, the teenager famous for putting up a critique of Lee Kuan Yew days after his death, is currently applying for asylum in the United States. A Singaporean activist based in the U.S. called Melissa Chen is currently raising funds for him and has even provided him with a lawyer to help him on a pro bono basis.

But is he really a deserving asylum speaker? This blogger does not feel that way.

1. Amos Yee was given a four-week jail sentence for making offensive or wounding remarks against Christianity and for circulating obscene imagery in the anti-Lee Kuan Yew video.You may say that it’s politically motivated, but actually, it’s simple logic.

The police force (like any in the world) does not have the time to pursue every single blogger for putting up things that are potentially offensive to religious people, or people who put up obscene images. In fact, lots of Singaporeans had cursed and wished Lee Kuan Yew dead in cyberspace long before Lee Kuan Yew had passed away. If Singapore were run by a dictatorship, why are there so many anti-Lee Kuan Yew posts in cyberspace? Have all of them been persecuted? Has Singapore ever engaged in broad censorship against such remarks? No, the people who have been prosecuted in court for saying things against Lee Kuan Yew or Singapore are prominent people like opposition politicians, authors, newspapers and civil society activists.

With regards to religion, no one is saying that atheists can’t speak out here. A Humanist Society comprising atheists (among other people and groups of people who do not ascribe to religious beliefs) exists in Singapore, and its members are not being persecuted in any way.

2. Amos Yee is no longer a child.

People are saying that he’s young, but in Singapore, you can charge children as young as 7 for crimes. (In comparison, the U.S. courts can charge people who are 6 years old and above.) His crime isn’t about gloating over Lee Kuan Yew’s death, but about wounding religious feelings and sensitivities. (More on that later)

3. Amos Yee has no respect for authority.

Untitled.png

Authority must be respected no matter where you go, be it North Korea or North Carolina. If you’re in Singapore, follow the law in Singapore. Don’t expect to be treated like an ordinary citizen if you want to use phrases like “police fucks” to describe police officers, and don’t expect any generosity from the judge if you call your judge a bitch.

In fact, he has even lied to the police before.

Lying to police:

I’m using my friend’s laptop:

– More at AllSingaporeStuff.com https://www.allsingaporestuff.com/article/amos-yee-i-am-completely-unrepentant-jail-me-so-i-get-nobel-peace-prize
FB: http://fb.com/allsgstuff

91891312

And many other instances, I can’t keep count anymore

– More at AllSingaporeStuff.com https://www.allsingaporestuff.com/article/amos-yee-i-am-completely-unrepentant-jail-me-so-i-get-nobel-peace-prize
FB: http://fb.com/allsgstuff

4. Amos Yee is not interested in finding work, and not interested in continuing school. How is he going to contribute to the U.S. as a citizen there? Does the U.S. government want another homeless American leeching off their public welfare? And someone who calls himself an anarcho-communist, at that? (Irony, irony – he’s going to possibly the most capitalistic country in the world to spread his beliefs.)

Gopalan Nair, a prominent Singapore dissident (and no fan of Singapore), has also detailed his experience with Amos Yee in two blog posts. Two particular paragraphs jump out:

Amos Yee had asked me to represent him “pro bono” or free of charge. In my opinion, he did not appear to be lacking in funds since he himself had stated in social media that he was making a lot of money through his videos. Secondly he has his parents who live with him and are fully able to pay for his expenses. I quoted him my normal asylum fee of US$3500.00 but he refused. After that I did not have further communication with him.

Recently a US based Singaporean activist Melissa Chen contacted me. She said she was trying to help Amos Yee and had arranged some lawyers to help him free of charge. She was contacting me probably from Chicago. She asked me if I could arrange accommodation for him free of charge. I told her that I cannot and even if I could I will not. After all he is well able to pay for his accommodation under his circumstances and shouldn’t be asking things free.

Pro bono again? This is the second time he’s got pro bono legal representation – that occurred during his first trial in Singapore for the video. Why on earth would Amos Yee need money for? His father and his mother are working and well able to afford Gopalan Nair’s quote of US$3,500.

He admitted once that he spent money given by donors on video games. He is not actively looking for a job either, nor does he think much of education in schools. On what basis is he justifying free accommodation and legal fees to process his asylum case?

5. The laws Amos Yee have broken are justifiable in Singapore’s context.

Singapore is an island state where many people from many different races, cultures and religions live close together. It is important for people to practise their religions without being mocked by others. For sure, atheists are free to call themselves atheists, but there has to be a line somewhere between disagreeing with others’ religions and mocking them. You can disagree with the boundaries the government has drawn about discussions pertaining to religion, but the laws are there to make sure that religious believers do not feel threatened or discriminated against. Just look around the Internet to see what might potentially happen if religious fanatics take the law into their own hands instead of leaving it to the state!

6. Amos Yee has a notorious history for lying.

Most infamously, he has called Vincent Law, his bailor, a molester – and that charge against a person does serious harm to a person’s reputation, especially when looking for a job. According to Melissa Chen, he was only trolling. You mean you can (ab)use your free speech to say lies that could cost other people their jobs and reputations? He was lucky that Vincent Law was not vindictive enough to sue him.

No one will be surprised if he calls Melissa Chen a molester or something worse next time.

It isn’t only that – he also lies to his viewers in his blog. He has hidden his blog from public view (http://amosyee.wordpress.com), but this blogger remember excerpts of them like:

So why did I make it seem like they were invading my privacy? Solely to more effectively fuck with the singapore police (which yes I did lie to you fellow audience, but from the effect created you very much welcome it don’t you?🙂 ).The added element of ‘police is invading my privacy’ engenders much more hateful feelings to the singapore police, and more effectively embarrases them and the singapore government (That’s what I do; I am a sadist; fortunately the people I fuck with deserve it and you like to see me fuck with them don’t you? :D)

 

7. Amos Yee is not persecuted in Singapore.

To be sure, he has been manhandled in public on at least two occasions – once when he was slapped outside the court room and another when he was bear-hugged by someone else. However, these two assailants have been dealt with accordingly by the law. Also, he complained of ill-treatment by other inmates in jail. How are you so sure that he’s telling the truth this time round? Is it another meek excuse to get public sympathy? Was he thinking of cooking up this story just to get asylum?

Conclusion

For all you donors who want to crowdfund someone who freely admits to using donors’ money to pay for his video games (and not his own legal fees!), please decide whether it’s worth it at all.

Remember, you are dealing with someone who lies to create “effect” – what makes you so sure that he’s speaking the truth all the time when he comes up with the latest angle of him becoming an activist? In his blog, he has consistently lied and encouraged people to lie:

  1. He resorted to slander to get his bailor into trouble by calling Vincent Leong a molester.
  2. He’s told numerous lies to the Singapore Police, including his handphone among other things. Would the U.S. really want their citizens to lie to their police departments?
  3. He’s encouraged people to fake depression to get out of National Service in a video (mirrored here). Even the U. S. government requires their own citizens to be drafted into the armed forces when needed! What would they make of his video, which encourages people to fake depression to escape conscription?
  4. Why did he keep deleting Facebook posts that call him out on the way he spends his money on his video games?

Why is his blog now private? Why is the video of him desecrating the Koran gone? Why is the video of him encouraging conscription draftees to fake illnesses gone?

The U.S. authorities would do well to not take Amos Yee’s testimony at face value. Neither should anyone helping him. While of course there may well be people who continue to throw their support and money at him without taking all these facts into consideration, they should do more research before actually doing so.

#freeAmosYee

Written by aweirdlittlebird

January 5, 2017 at 5:19 am

Posted in Amos Yee

Tagged with

Amos Yee’s Latest Report – Another Lie?

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Recently, activists claim that Amos Yee was assaulted in prison.

Before sympathising too much with Amos Yee, it should also be noted that Amos Yee has blatantly lied before to elicit sympathy.

So why did I make it seem like they were invading my privacy? Solely to more effectively fuck with the singapore police (which yes I did lie to you fellow audience, but from the effect created you very much welcome it don’t you?🙂 ).The added element of ‘police is invading my privacy’ engenders much more hateful feelings to the singapore police, and more effectively embarrases them and the singapore government (That’s what I do; I am a sadist; fortunately the people I fuck with deserve it and you like to see me fuck with them don’t you? :D)

https://amosyee.wordpress.com/page/2/

Let’s not also forget that he called his bailor Vincent Law a molester and has bragged many times about lying to the police. It is possible that this is another cheap tactic for him to try to fleece money out of his sympathisers who don’t know any better, especially since he doesn’t have a constant source of income. Potential donors/sympathisers, be warned.

#saveAmosYee

Written by aweirdlittlebird

October 20, 2016 at 3:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Amos Yee – The Case for Prosecuting Him

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It’s sad to see how people who are (rightly or wrongly) prejudiced against the Singapore government have spun Amos Yee’s case as that of political persecution.

This is a simple case of person-breaks-law-so-he-is-charged-in-court. (Whether you agree with the law or the harshness of the law is another matter)

His age is also not an excuse. A lot of people cite the Convention on the Rights of the Child as a reason why Amos Yee should not be prosecuted. Yes, in future, the classification of a child may be reviewed by the government, but it hasn’t happened. So, as of today, Amos Yee is not going to be classified as a child because the Singapore government defines children to be 14 and below. So Amos Yee can be tried as an adult. Full stop.

Chapter 28, Part III YOUTH COURT, Paragraph 33 of Singapore Statutes Online says:

(3) Where a charge is made jointly against a child or young person and a person who has attained the age of 16 years, the charge shall be heard by a court of appropriate jurisdiction other than a Youth Court.

(5) A Youth Court shall have jurisdiction to try all offences which, but for subsections (1) and (2), would be triable only by a Magistrate’s Court, a District Court or the High Court.

(6) A person who has attained the age of 16 years on the date of commencement of the hearing of the charge shall not be tried for any offence by a Youth Court.

So in the eyes of the law, Amos Yee (born in 1998) is an adult, not a child. Full stop.

And refer to this link: https://app.msf.gov.sg/…/Singapore-as-Signatory-to-the-UNCR…

“The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child defines a child as below 18 years of age. Under the Children and Young Persons Act, a child or young person is a person aged below 16 years.

Notwithstanding the different legal age definitions, Singapore is committed to protecting and rehabilitating children and young persons, including those above 16 years old…For older youth who commit an offence, there are services and programmes in place that take a restorative instead of a punitive approach. These include court diversionary measures that redirect first-time young offenders up to 19 years who commit minor offences to voluntary rehabilitation programmes, and alternative sentencing options such as Probation and Community Service orders.”

Also, a more appropriate legal (non-)defence for Amos Yee is that of “Defense of infancy”, or more commonly known as “Age of Criminal Responsibility”. In Singapore, you can be charged in court for committing a crime at the age of 8 years old.

(But before you start sending an outraged letter to the UN about the lack of respect for children’s rights, please educate yourself on the term “common law” first. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_of_infancy)

Why Amos Yee was not considered for these “court diversionary measures” was most likely because he flagrantly violated bail conditions by putting up content during his trial. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/…/amos-yee-post…/1816214.html . Simple common sense: If you don’t respect court orders, the judge will not be that sympathetic towards you. In Amos’s case, he wanted to test the judge’s patience and the judge duly obliged by leaving little room for leniency.

Moreover, his parents aren’t exactly destitute – why should lawyers step in to offer pro bono legal help to him (again)? Are you sure no lawyer would step in to help simply because this case involves an anti-PAP advocate, given the right amount of money? I doubt it. Even Davinder Singh, the well-known Senior Counsel who often represents PAP government leaders in defamation suits against their critics, has been involved in a lawsuit which might have potentially put the Singapore government in a bad light had his clients won. http://commentarysingapore.blogspot.sg/…/singapore-judiciar…

The simplest and most boringly imaginable explanation is that Amos Yee’s supporters, friends, family members (or himself) are not willing to pay for legal help. Notice that during his first arrest, his parents didn’t even bail him out. This shows that even his parents have decided to let the law deal with him and have washed their hands off him. If you don’t want to listen to us, let the law deal with you, that’s what they seem to be saying to him.

As for his supporters, well, Vincent Law did bail him out – and what happened to him? Amos Yee called him a molester.

No one is saying that the most obnoxious people don’t deserve legal representation. Of course they do. Yet, notice that even opposition politicians who are lawyers haven’t stepped up to defend him – and there are many of them. If it’s really political persecution, these lawyers have got a LOT of political mileage to win by taking up his case! But they haven’t. Why? Because of these reasons:

1. It isn’t about political persecution in the first place;
2. Lawyers find the accused a difficult client; or
3. His parents are going to let him face the music on his own.

What people can (and should) have asked the following parties (but I haven’t seen any yet) –

AMOS YEE or his PARENTS:
a) Which lawyers have you asked for legal representation?
b) Did you offer to pay these lawyers in full?
c) Did they tell you why they don’t want to represent him?
d) Do you have any e-mails to proof that these lawyers have turned you down?

Finally, in conclusion,

  1. Singapore is not unique in trying people of Amos Yee’s age in court – plenty of so-called first world countries do that too.
  2. The only way to argue against his prosecution is by arguing against the law for which he was charged. If you feel that people should not be prosecuted for making offensive remarks about religion, then by all means, go ahead and do so.
  3. If you are against Amos Yee’s treatment, you can go donate money to his legal fund (and run the risk of having him spend it on his video games and laptops); or if you’re a lawyer, go and represent him pro bono (like what Alfred Dodwell did) or for a fee.
  4. Amos Yee’s situation is as such not because of political persecution, but because of his own deeds. He flagrantly disregards court orders, doesn’t want to work, doesn’t want to go to school, has only a secondary school education, has not done National Service, refuses to listen to his parents, puts up rude videos criticising people’s religious beliefs, has a track record of lying and does not show gratitude to help offered to him.
  5. Please think twice before you actually support his causes, no matter what side of the political spectrum you lie in.

‪#‎freeAmosYee‬

#saveAmosYee

Written by aweirdlittlebird

August 21, 2016 at 11:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Hypothetical typical questions and possible answers that may appear for opposition politicians in Singapore – 3

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Q. How would you manage the town council if elected into Parliament?

A. I would manage it the same way as I would for any large company when a new CEO is placed in charge of the entire company.

First, I would allow things to go on as usual. A change in political party does not mean that everything stops working. Streets still have to be cleaned. Broken lamps still need to be replaced. Garbage still needs to be disposed of. While I do not see too many imperfections with the current management, I am sure that there are some areas that have been overlooked, and from then on, I would first access why these areas are overlooked. Are there enough people to do the job? If there are, why aren’t they doing their job? If it’s a case of inefficiency, I would deal with it on a case-by-case basis. If I feel that the town council needs to hire external contractors to do some very specific jobs, I would carry out an open tender in the papers, and if not, I would get the existing contractors to do the job, all at minimal inconvenience to the people who live in this constituency.

Written by aweirdlittlebird

March 16, 2016 at 1:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Hypothetical typical questions and possible answers that may appear for opposition politicians in Singapore – 2

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[A political candidate ended up answering “Can I deflect?” after a long and protracted silence when asked this question during the 2015 general elections.]

Q: If you get elected, what do you think you can do for the [insert race] community?

A: I do not see why I need to do something for any specific community. I see myself as a Singaporean first and foremost, and as a nation, we should transcend racial boundaries when extending help to another person.

Written by aweirdlittlebird

March 14, 2016 at 3:15 am

Posted in Uncategorized