Friday, April 17, 2015

Online rants turned Sedition

Amos Yee is now a know person in Singapore. His online rant on Youtube is treated by the government as Sedition, even though he was 16 years old and there was actually not much of an audience until the media decide to pick it up and make it popular.

Primarily, his rant was targeted at the late Lee Kuan Yew, and as many may know this proves to be very unpopular and there were several individuals, including a grassroots leader of the PAP threatening to cut off the boy's Penis.

Most of the time, it is State media that flamed the flames towards Amos and publicized his video. Because Amos cannot be charged saying bad things about a dead person, He was charged under sedition act, because his video contained a rant against Christians as well.

I do not believe that the use of sedition law in this case is justified. It seems to be politically motivated, even towards this 16 year old seeking attention, who is obviously no threat.

In law, sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that is deemed by the legal authority to tend toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent (or resistance) to lawful authority.

Clearly, on Digital Media, the laws are still relatively new and this will set precedence and if Amos is convicted, the Sedition Act seems to be able to clamp down on any dissent online.

I've asked many Christians about the incident, and even after watching the video, they do not really feel offended, and agreed that the boy needed help. For those that felt offended, a lot of them were supporters of LKY who have not viewed the video and were all up in arms about prosecuting the 16 year old.

After engaging with 16 year olds, I realized that swearing and rebellious nature was a common thing. This has of coursed because more serious than it should and Amos may need some punishment, but clearly, this is not Sedition.

However, the Straitstimes is also used to stir up negative emotions towards the boy as "31 March that Amos’s mother, Mrs Mary, filed a police report on her son." However she did not. They painted a picture of this uncontrollable boy which must be stopped.

I would say people need to take a lot less offense of what's going on online. If you think the title offends you, why click on it and get angry?

-- Robin Low