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Thursday, 14 May 2015

Amos Yee: The boy who cried Molest

There was once a boy who cried wolf just to see the reactions of the towns people. Amos Yee however takes it one step further and is now the boy who cried molest just to troll people.

Who is Amos Yee? This is probably not of interest to anyone OTHER than Singaporeans, but Amos Yee was a 16 year teenager who got arrested and tried for making a youtube video slamming Lee Kuan Yew, once again proving why Singapore is one of the lowest ranked 1st world countries in terms of freedom of speech. Note that I really disapprove of the governments actions with regards to this and think that his arrest was politically motivated. 

However, this doesn't mean Amos Yee is the saint that the non-mainstream press seems to be making him out to be. Why am I writing this? Mostly to serve as a record because eventually, someone overseas will google Amos Yee and I don't want them get the picture that he's some innocent lamb who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Let's get a bit more in-depth into the general timeline of things. First Amos made a video, was arrested and then set on bail. His bail was 20,000 SGD which is equivalent to about 15,000USD at the current exchange rate. His parents refused to bail him out (probably because they knew what kind of person he was) and he ended up spending several days in jail until some kind soul bailed him out. 

That kind soul was Vincent Law, a Christian youth counsellor. To quote the man

"Mr Law said that he came forward to post the S$20,000 bail as he is a Christian, and wanted to show he was not offended by Yee's posts. "It seems the charges say he made disparaging remarks about Christianity. I'm a Christian and I'm stepping up to say I'm not offended," he said, adding that he, too, is a parent.
The 51-year-old, who is not related to the Yee family, hopes that Yee will also be willing to be counselled by him, and that he may respond better to a third party."Source: Channel News Asia (link)

So the guy comes out with 20,000 of his own money and bails Amos out even though he doesn't personally know Amos. Sounds like a great guy right?

Except then Amos proceeds to violate the terms of his parole, which is to refrain from posting online at all until his trial is done. Are the terms of the parole fair? Probably not. However, when Amos proceeded to violate that parole, he was pretty much playing with the risk that his kind benefactors 20,000 was going to be taken away by the state. Eventually at the bail hearing, Amos bail amount was upped to 30,000 SGD (22,700 USD) and Vincent ended up being discharged as Amos bailor because Amos refused to follow his bail conditions. 

Now at this point, nothing Vincent has done sounds like he has mistreated Amos in any way. 

And yet Amos accuses Vincent of molesting him. 

Just to be clear, this is a huge accusation. Especially since molest cases are so hard to prove or disprove. Especially against a family man, and a Christian to boot. Because who's going to believe a Christian over a little boy who cries molest?

Except it wasn't true. It was all a lie. 

"The 16-year-old admitted that the entire post was "a troll" to trick the media. "I manipulated the press to indulge in the thoroughly exhausting experience of waiting in Pasir Panjang fruitlessly for several hours, which they did with their 'diligence'. They are all quite obscure and hard places to reach in Singapore aren't they?" he wrote just before 9.45pm.
- See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/courts-crime/story/amos-yee-takes-facebook-make-allegations-about-ex-bailor-20150513#sthash.77Ntbe3M.dpuf"

Let's put it this way, the guy accused someone of molesting him just to shitpost over mainstream media. I'm not even going to get into the fact that non-mainstream media were also salivating over the thought of this story and actually posted several articles about it before 3-4pm. 

But, but maybe he cleared it with his ex-bailor first? Maybe they worked together to prank the media some may cry.


"When contacted, Mr Law told the Straits Times: "I deny this very serious and false allegation that he has made. I have no idea why he would say that."
Yee's lawyer Alfred Dodwell said that the post took him by surprise."He's never communicated this to me or my team."- See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/courts-crime/story/amos-yee-takes-facebook-make-allegations-about-ex-bailor-20150513#sthash.77Ntbe3M.dpuf"

Uh, no. And to top it off, Amos then proceeded to say

"I manipulated the press to indulge in the thoroughly exhausting experience of waiting in Pasir Panjang fruitlessly for several hours, which they did with their quote unquote ‘diligence’. They are all quite obscure and hard places to reach in Singapore aren’t they
And Vincent Law didn’t really molest me, haha. Though he is immensely creepy. I’ll save the specific details for another time."
So he proceeds to falsely accuse Vincent of molest, has it spread to the press and then proceeds to call Vincent creepy. I'm not sure about how others feel about this, but if anything deserves to be called a dick move, this was a dick move. 

 A lot of defenders for Amos would like you to believe he's hyper intelligent and mature. And yet, when confronted with his latest shit, suddenly they fall back onto the old schtick "Oh, he's just a boy. 16 years old, you know. What do you expect? Must learn to forgive and forget". The problem is that hyper intelligent and mature people know that falsely accusing people of a sexual assault is unacceptable. So either he's an immature 16 year old boy or a hyper intelligent and mature person, PICK ONE. 

And the problem is that false accusations of molest and rape really damage future social perceptions of any such accusations. When you have constant false allegations, people end up being less willing to believe such allegations. Not only are you spoiling the well for yourself, you are also ruining it for others.

Overall, censorship is bad and the Singapore government needs to relax its grip on the voices of the people. Otoh, people need to stop claiming Amos is the hero that Singapore deserves but not the one it needs right now. Just as people went overboard with the whole Saint Lee Kuan Yew public hysteria after he died, people are going overboard with Saint Amos.