A 49-year-old man pleaded guilty on Monday (May 11) to charges relating to a slapping incident of teenage blogger Amos Yee Pang Sang.
Neo Gim Huah admitted to voluntarily causing hurt to teen blogger Amos Yee at the walkway between the Family Justice Courts and the State Courts on Apr 30 at about 2.40pm.
He struck Yee on the left side of the teen’s face with his right hand when the teen was on his way to attend a pre-trial conference at the State Courts. He was subsequently arrested at around 2am on May 1. Yee had been charged with multiple offences on Mar 31 for posting an online video which contained disparaging remarks against Christians.
In court, Neo, who was unrepresented, said he had prepared his mitigation plea in Mandarin. Through a translator, he said that Yee had been disrespectful and had insulted Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew, and that he only wanted to teach Yee a lesson as an elder and did not want to hurt Yee.
The 49-year-old said that after watching Yee’s video online, he formed the intention to confront and slap Yee before Yee’s first two court appearences. He added that he initially restrained himself, but became outraged shortly before Yee’s third court appearance on Apr 30, when he realised Yee had flouted the bail conditions.
Neo added that slapping someone else’s child is more difficult that slapping his own child. He said he knew it was wrong to slap someone and admitted his mistake. Neo also said that he apologises sincerely.
Neo will be sentenced later at 2.30pm.
If convicted, Neo could be punished with a jail term of not more than 2 years, or fined S$5,000, or both.