Ever since Amos Yee has been granted asylum there has been a lot of online discussion and confusion of the matter, people seem to be conflating his “hate speech” with his politically motivated persecutions. So lets shed some light on this issue.
While it is true that Amos has made many insensitive remarks towards Christianity and Islam, we have to ask ourselves why was he singled out? Because we have to remember Jason Neo and Calvin Cheng who said things like “Bus filled with young terrorist trainees?” when commenting on a picture of a bunch of young Muslim kids wearing traditional Malay headwear and Calvin Cheng who advocated killing children of muslim terrorist. Both of them who are adults(supposedly) got away scot free with no action taken against them by the state Clavin Cheng is also part of the MLC the media literacy council which says that it “encourages users to take greater responsibility in media diet; display greater analysis of and to be educated in media choices; and to be alert to rumours and hate speech.”
Clavin Cheng must have missed out that part when he advocated online to kill children. We have to ask ourselves if Calvin Cheng and Jason Neo had been prosecuted, would they have been able to seek asylum in the US? i am pretty sure that they would not because the difference in Amos’s case is that he insulted the ruling party and the other two didn’t.
In fact in the judge’s 13 page report, Jason and Calvin were cited to highlight in inconsistency in the way “hate speech” was handled. Before we all jump on the Hate Amos bandwagon, i think it is important to read this small part of the report
“Second, religion was only tangential to the video. The video is almost entirely about Yew and Singapore, and its discussions of religion were only used to make a point about Yee’s dismal opinion of Yew. In fact, religion took up only about 30 seconds of the video’s 8%-minute content,
Third, the public response to the video was entirely about its criticism of Yew, not about its offense to religion. Yee and both his witnesses testified similarly about the nature of the public attention to the video, and their testimony went unrebutted by DHS.
Fourth, the evidence presented showed that Yee’s prison sentence was unusually long and harsh, especially for a young offender,
Fifth, the terms of Yee’s pre-trial release prohibited him from posting to social media. These restrictions were also highly unusual and restrictive and served the main purpose to silence
Yee’s criticism of the government.
Sixth, other people who made disparaging comments about religions but who were not similarly critical of the Singapore regime avoided prosecution. These include Calvin Cheng and Jason Neo, See Exh. 5, Tabs D1 and D3. Both made comments critical of Islam, equating Muslims with terrorists. Neither was charged.”
So we have to ask ourselves as Singaporeans, can you say without a doubt that Amos’ treatment from our state was just and fair and not some personal vendetta because he insulted Lee Kuan Yew?