Rants of a Weird Little Bird

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

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.

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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

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Written by aweirdlittlebird

January 5, 2017 at 5:19 am

Posted in Amos Yee

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