I decided to transcribe the text from Amos Yee’s video so that what he said doesn’t get lost amidst the current lynching being directed at him. This is included in the second half of this blog post.
A quick summary: 16 year-old Amos Yee was arrested for posting an “anti-Lee Kuan Yew” video.
At the time of this posting, you can view a copy of the video.
Amos Yee was arrested on these charges:
Police said Amos will face charges in court today under Section 298 of the Penal Code for utterances against Christians with a “deliberate intent to wound religious feelings”. Other charges include circulating an obscene object and making threatening, abusive or insulting communication which is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.
( — Straits Times)
I have a few questions to the Singapore authorities:
1) PAP grassroots leader, Jason Tan, threatened to chop off Amos Yee’s penis and stuff it in his mouth because of Amos’ 8-minute video. Is this not an abusive threat?
2) A pro-PAP page has been set up for the purpose of cyber-bullying and shaming Amos’ family. Doesn’t this constitute “insulting communication that is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress”?
3) The anti-harassment law in Singapore covers harassment in the online sphere including online sexual harassment and cyber-bullying. Does this law not apply to critics of LKY and the PAP ruling party?
Readers, please peruse Amos’ Yee’s speech below to take a look at the points he brought up.
I did some light copyediting to the text, and I removed the expletives and profanity from his 8-minute speech.
I hope this makes the substance of his argument clearly visible to discerning readers and netizens.
* * *
“Lee Kuan Yew is Finally Dead,” by Amos Yee
Video text transcribed by Jess C Scott (clean version)
Lee Kuan Yew is dead, finally.
Why hasn’t anyone said, “Yeah, the guy is dead!”
Lee Kuan Yew was a horrible person.
Because everyone is scared. Everyone is afraid that if they say something like that, they might get into trouble which — give LKY credit — was primarily the impact of his legacy.
But I’m not afraid.
So if Lee Hsien Loong wishes to sue me, I will oblige to dance with him.
Lee Kuan Yew, contrary to popular belief, was a horrible person and an awful leader to our country. He was a dictator, but managed to fool most of the world to think he was democratic. And he did so by still granting us the opportunity to vote, to make it seem like we have freedom of choice.
However, during [his] rule, he controlled the entire media and education, proliferating nationalistic propaganda on a daily basis. And he placed an excessive surplus of his books in popular bookstores. In most of his books, look at how he self-indulgently plasters reams of pages with these montages of pictures of his experiences. Like “Ooh, look how much better I am compared to you.”
And of course he is absolutely notorious for suing people who criticised him, forcing them into jail and leading them into bankruptcy. Apparently, his thirst for suing is hereditary, too. So he created an environment where his blatant flaws as a leader were hidden, because most people were afraid of criticising him in fear of being found guilty by the judicial system that he controls. So everything that people hear is about how great Lee Kuan Yew is.
Of course he is able to deceive people into voting for him. Despite our voting rights, he is undoubtedly totalitarian.
Now seeing what LKY has done, I’m sure many individuals who have done similar things comes to mind. But I’m going to compare him to someone that people haven’t really mentioned before: Jesus. And the aptness of that analogy is heightened, seeing how Christians seem to be a really big fan of him. They are both power-hungry and malicious, but deceive others into thinking that they are compassionate and kind. Their impact and legacy will ultimately not last as more and more people find out that they’re full of bull. And LKY’s followers are completely delusional and ignorant, and have absolutely no sound logic or knowledge about him that is grounded in reality, which LKY very easily manipulates, similar to the Christian knowledge of the Bible and the work of a multitude of priests.
On the surface, he seemed quite successful. He turned Singapore from a small seaport into a bustling metropolis, rife with skyscrapers and its own casino. World leaders seem to like him, most notably Margaret Thatcher, and many foreigners and millionaires wish to invest in Singapore.
But if you look deeper, and you find out what the true nature of LKY’s Singapore is…I’m sure most of your parents have told you how luxurious Singapore is, and how, if you go to another country, it would be much harder and much more expensive.
But all you have to do is do a Google search, look at our country’s statistics, and you will find out how delusional and ignorant your parents are.
Most people in Singapore are struggling to make ends meet. And it is reported that Singaporeans work the longest hours in the world. We are one of the richest countries in the world, but we have one of the highest income inequalities, highest poverty rates, and our government spends one of the lowest on healthcare and social security.
The money spent on the public is so low, it’s more representative of a third world country. And yet the amount of taxes is one of the highest in first world countries. And political leaders in Singapore earn more than quadruple the amount earned by political leaders in the United States. They are acquiring so much money — why aren’t they spending it on the people? What are they actually spending it on?
One time, an SDP member told me that once they got into power, they are going to take the key and open every cupboard, and search out all the information on the government spending to find out what those motherf**kers have been doing with all that money.
And whenever somebody wonders online if the government is pocketing the money for themselves, they get sued. Quite suspicious, isn’t it?
How LKY deemed what he considered as success was solely predicated upon measurable, concrete results: a rich country, the love of major powers, a positive public image. And his emphasis on results was transcendent onto how Singaporeans led their lives. Somebody who has the better house, the better results in an exam, the better degree — is deemed “more successful” than the other person.
Because of this emphasis on pure materialism, it sacrificed our happiness.
Because if someone is more concerned about money and status over what they’re actually doing and their life, no shit you would lead a depressing life.
I think the biggest flaw of LKY as a leader to our nation, is that he honestly thought that money and status equated to happiness. And his failure to understand how false that was really showed, leading us to be one of the richest countries in the world, and one of the most depressed.
Ultimately, how do you quantify a great leader?
It is by how he creates a place where people are able to live happily and prosper, based on their own unique attributes. And he hasn’t. So no matter how rich the country he made is, it doesn’t mean a thing.
His death was great for him too, seeing how he was struggling with an illness for several years and even declared that he wished he was dead. He should have asked his son to pull the plug or committed suicide by himself. But he didn’t. You know why?
Because if he did, his band of sycophants might despise him. And his oh-so-great reputation that he so desperately tried to uphold, might shatter. Because it would be deemed quite controversial for a leader to end his life with suicide.
And it is rather tragic, isn’t it, that he had to suffer the last few years with the atmosphere or materialism and the need for a positive image that he himself created.
So there you go: Lee Kuan Yew, an overrated, over-glorified person, a dictator, and exceptionally Machiavellian in nature. With his death and the upcoming elections next year, there is a high chance, that us citizens of Singapore [can] finally change things for the better.
Let’s all hope for change.
For good change, for every possible kind.
# # # end. # # #
28 thoughts on “Amos Yee’s Speech”
Sometimes, it is the manner on which the message was delivered that inevitably caused the content of the message to be lost.
There are valid points where there are a lot of inconsistencies, both real and assumed. Why assumed? Using Christianity which seemingly has contradictions, just may prove to people that on the surface there are things to hide. So to use Christianity as the example, shows that the issues Amos has contemplated is still not deep enough but its conclusion can be seen as logical on the surface.
On the matter of suing, if an accusation is not answered, there are two things will be inferred – One, no answers means acceptance of the truth in the accusation. Two, that the person who is accused has no guts to protect his or her integrity.
Suing in some ways, is to force the person who is accusing, to set forth his case in a proper cohesive manner in which the matter can be readily and easily looked into and make a very informed decision thereafter.
The crux of the current matter – of the usage of CPF – in Roy and Han Hui Hui’s case, is that suing may not have the desired outcome for the government of the day. Why? Because the excuse of using confidentiality due to the national security with regards to sovereign funds, will still be used and no one will become the wiser. In the end, the government may save its skin now but does nothing to create an atmosphere of trust that the PAP has fought for so hard and long to gain merger, fighting the communists and then survival post independence.
That trust asset that PAP has will erode if this is not tackled well as more people are questioning the effectiveness of the CPF system and of the sovereign fund despite this country being rich and the reason for becoming rich is to take care of the citizens. This government MUST convince the electorate what has happened to the sovereign funds, if not people WILL second guess and WILL create conspiracy theories. The problem is the government cannot sue everyone to keep this under the carpet.
I am of the opinion that things can be done outside the court of law and one such example was Chee Soon Juan and George Yeo on health care costs. If we have more of that, it does show the electorate the foundation on which the arguments are put forth and we can make a decision. By relying on the courts does nothing but to alienate the people and not putting the facts before the people to make a decision.
Therein lies the problem. On one hand, the government do not believe the ability of the citizenry to think and yet still has to appeal to the electorate during election in order to vote them in. And the same can be said of the effectiveness of leadership where populist decisions are made on policies that may not be popular but will lead the nation to greater heights.
I have no doubt about that IF the leadership are very capable people. However what happens if this thinking is applied to questionable policies that are not supported by sound management of infrastructure that we are seeing now? Unlike previous governments, we are seeing a reactionary administration of the country instead of a proactive one under LKY.
That is our worry now and should be our worry in the future when ineffective government is hiding behind laws and statutes.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts — what you mentioned reminded me of Catherine Lim’s letter in 2014:
“Dear Mr Prime Minister
We are in the midst of a crisis where the people no longer trust their government, and the government no longer cares about regaining their trust. . .”
I’m from Malaysia.
Education? Ours is ignorant and arrogant. We claim credit where there is none, and we maintain a narrow mindset and discourage thinking.
Compare your quality of education versus ours (almost more than half of Malaysians can’t speak English).
Consider freedom of religion – Does Malaysia have true religious freedom? With the body snatching, underhanded conversion and attacks against religious buildings and shrines.
Economically? Malaysia is blessed with rich natural resources, and still underdeveloped as a result of that.
While LKY has his own weaknesses, you only need to look at your neighbour to know that it’s not all bad in Singapore.
Hi, just because yours is worse doesn’t mean ours is better.
Thats a fallacy of relative privation.
We are trying to fix our issues, sorry we can’t reach out to help yours right now.
If you would help yourself inn the mean time we would be glad to show solidarity and support to your cause, but please do not justify in injustice of our issues by proclaiming you have it worse.
exactly my thoughts. To all those who are not locals but see Singapore as a better place by comparing to their home countries and then having the audacity to name us as ungrateful bast*rds or whatever- these people are in no position to judge how we should feel towards the political direction PAP has taken us for half a century.
A lot of good things have happened but a lot of bad things have also happened. We may be better than our neighbours materially but we could have been in a much better place socially.
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Thanks for your comments. To some extent, I guess it depends on what a person values in an education system.
The two excerpts below show a comparison between Singaporean ‘types’. One is the type which conforms, and the other is more capable of reasoning.
1) On LKY’s Legacy: “Once you step into your toilet/bathroom, you have the tap with potable water. His water legacy. You have shades of trees along the roads and streets to keep yourself cool. His greenery legacy.”
(– Lu Jiaquan)
2) On Education:
“New and creative ideas are meant to be controversial, and people who portray these ideas are controversial, but they are also influential. Lincoln was never popular when he tried to abolish slavery, and Gandhi went to jail and was shot for advocating independence to Indians. But they were great people, people who removed what was accepted as right but was so innately wrong in the world, and abolished them, making it better for more people in our world to live for all coming time. Modern issues such as the inane nature of religion, LGBT rights, whether or not one can use what is supposedly vulgar language, and the meat-headed need to abolish porn, all have definitive solutions based on logic, and with many avenues presented in an educational system, these solutions will be presented in one humorous form or another, especially by several youths studying in an educational institution, capable of being very influential in the future. Talking about these solutions should be advocated and discussion based on these issues should be encouraged and condoned.” (full blog post on TRS)
(– by 16 y/o school leaver, Amos Yee)
Lol… I watched the video, but I just couldn’t finish it cause I can’t really stand BS… Did you notice that the “data” he used were solely sourced from Mr Roy Ngerng’s website? And after reading the transcribed text, I am more convinced at how the disinformation disseminated by Mr Roy Ngerng has led to the misinformation of the public… Most of those “data”, if you cross check with other sources and perform your own data analysis, are twisted in order to mislead… The capability of reason depends a lot on the ability of the person to discern facts from deception and the credibility of the data you base your argument on. But thanks for the effort, I can clearly see the level of “substance” of his argument now…
Yes, always best to cross-check with multiple sources.
The URLs in the post link out to 3rd-party sources such as The Guardian and BusinessInsider. If you know of better or more credible sources, do share here and/or with others :)
I can also see clearly the “substance” in our government budget when adjustments are made to conform to UN standards we actually have a ridiculously large surplus year after year.
Just because His screen grabs are from Roy’s website do not make them any less credible as long as Amos has done his due diligence. Sounds like you have something against Roy.
If Jason Tan (grass roots PAP leader) as reported said he would cut of Amos Yee’s p… is &
stuff it in his mouth ….I assume he meant “his” as in (JT’s) own mouth….. then I’d believe it… because uttering such language in the public domain just shows that he is really not fit to be any sort of leader. As my late “victorian” mother would have reminded him … that the use of such language only reflects his level of education . Worse still, it reflects on his family AND background.
So if JT wants to be any kind of leader that is RESPECTED, he will need to UP his
standards not only in language but in general conduct . But let not this be just wise
advice to JT but to ALL bloggers in the future. Finally, to quote my very strict mother
“Don’t stoop to “their” level ……..try to raise them to yours”. I’m sure you are resting
in Peace….Mum…….you did a good job…..even though you sometimes caned us.
What is a meaning of Democratic society can someone explain I really don’t understand this words…
The opposite of an Autocracy wherein the power to rule lies in one person/party’s ability.
It means there are different interest groups being represented in parliament.
It means the people have the power to keep the government in check.
Agree with Rizkhaos!
A quick definition from this website:
“A democracy by definition is government through elected representatives. It is a form of society which favours equal rights, freedom of speech and a fair trial and tolerates the views of minorities. A healthy civil society requires responsible and active citizens who value the system of government and work towards a shared vision of civil life.”
First and foremost, Amos Yee wasn’t uttering complete nonsense. We need to understand why he did what he did. It’s undeniable there’s much dissent on the ground and social media towards the Singapore government and he’s just one of the many except that he’s brave and courageous enough to express his feelings and opinion openly despite in the back of his mind, he knew the consequences he might have to face and that alone puts the majority of Singaporeans including myself to shame.
What he needed is guidance on how to express himself and put forth his opinions and debate whatever he wants in a manner that neither offend nor degrade any person or religion. Having the full force of the law slamming down hard on a 17 year old, is that going to help?
Singapore needs to open up and do away with the suppression mentality and unlock the free flow of exchanging of ideas and opinions of the people for the good of the nation in moving forward to the future.
Honestly when I hear people say Amos Yee needs guidance I disagree.
He doesn’t need any guidance, he’s not a lost kid who doesn’t know what hes doing.
Is he brash? Maybe.
Does he need help presenting his thoughts, not really.
But you can always offer him advise on how to reach more people but ultimately the means and method he chooses to present himself is his choice.
Keep it up, Amos, the rest of the word supports you.
Look, Amos’ analogy is extreme but he speaks the true.
Similar to the adulation of the idolization of Mao Zedong, LKY’s Machiavellian means and manipulations are only upheld by those benefited from “Lee Dynasty”. The rest of the world doesn’t.
I am from Hong Kong.
Currently Hong Kong kids are also main “people” force fighting against the growing grip of suppression and oppression from communist China.
Like Singaporean, only Hong Kong’s rich and famous (who are damn scared to lose the privileges and economic power they enjoy for decades) oppose “change to the pseudo democratic system” because what is better for the general public is not better for their pocket, for the preservation of their “hereditary” family lineage and superiority.
It is true that a lot of Singaporean is depressed, so depressed……….because Singaporean has been living under suppression for years. I know that because I do have relatives in Singapore and Malaysian. Amos is right, Singaporean is richer but definitely less happy than their neighbor, which is wrong because Singaporean deserve to be happy.
Amos, just to let you know, Hong Kong people has been calling you as Singapore’s Joshua Wong 黃之鋒, who has become a hope for HK to preserve the freedom of speech, freedom of thought, and other values so characteristic of HK.
Due to his influence in Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, he was named as one of TIME’s Most Influential Teens of 2014 and nominated for TIME’s Person of the Year 2014.
In Hong Kong, Joshua is safe because we (and our legal system) are protecting him and his parents.
HK needs young, brave and thinker generation like Joshua, so does Singapore.
Thanks goodness that LKY failed to fool young kids like you. Your parents should be proud of you.
If Singapore doesn’t want you, it is its loss.
Do contact me, Hong Kong people is willing to offer you any assistance to live overseas.
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This kid hasn’t been to the Philippines.
Hi, just because yours is worse doesn’t mean ours is better or acceptable
Thats a fallacy of relative privation.
We are trying to fix our issues, sorry we can’t reach out to help yours right now.
If you would help yourself in the meantime we would be glad to show solidarity and support to your cause, but please do not justify in injustice of our issues by proclaiming you have it worse.
I heard/read online that people in the Philippines would protest on the streets if their ministers talked to them in the same way that (some) Singaporean ministers talk to local citizens. (source)
Hope things progress in a positive direction in all countries, wherever we may be!
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Born & raised in Singapore, but now reside in the US. This young man may be smart & brazen, but as they say, timing is everything, & his timing couldn’t be worse. While his arguments do merit discussion & debate, his sources are vehemently one-sided & anti-LKY. He also naively tries to paint LKY’s popularity to that of Jesus Christ & Christianity, which really has no relevance nor semblance. He further likens LKY with Mao, once again showing his brash naïveté. Mao represents communism in every aspect, while LKY’s brand of governance is a hybrid of authoritarian & democracy. Furthermore, LKY has never asserted Singapore’s politics to be like that of the US. He has always admitted that his strong-arm tactics may not be right, but necessary for his precarious nation to succeed & compete. The fact is that the US brand of democracy is not a one-size-fit-all. Singaporeans may complain about their freedom of press & speech, but in that same breath, shake their heads in disbelief & disgust regarding the rampant use of guns & drugs in America. Unlike most countries, Singapore didn’t start with an indigenous people with a shared belief, culture or history. Fast-forwarding to today, times have changed & LKY has admitted that his style of governance is more like “social-Darwinism”, evolving with the epochs of time. Comparing the political climate in the ’60s & ’70s & that of today, I believe we’ve all witnessed an evolution of sorts. It will continue to change & evolve for the better, but it will be slow. It must be slow as Singapore will never survive a massive one-time overhaul. I believe, in time, this de-facto one-party state will become a more balanced two-party system representing the differing views & opinions of its populace. Possibly within Amos Yee’s lifetime, but definitely not by his timing.
Reblogged this on Speaking My Mind and commented:
Hopefully now for those of you too hypersensitive to profanity can read Amos’ monologue objectively.
I love your style of writing where you leave links for sources and evidence for people to follow.
I couldn’t agree more with what Amos has sad.
And I am disheartened by the national propaganda going on about this incident.
How they got local celebs to talk about WHY this happened.
Instead of addressing issues that were brought up.
I wrote an article on my blog in a reply to Calvin Cheng wherein he confuses security for freedom.
Perhaps youd like to take a look at that?
Thanks for your kind comments! Glad you find the links helpful as well.
If there’s less propaganda in future, maybe Singapore’s ranking on the Press Freedom Index won’t stay at such a woeful level.
You are right about the writer Mr. Cheng confusing freedom for security, and that there are basic fundamental human rights that should not be abused because a “human being” is entitled to those rights.
It’s strange how a PAP supporter I once knew was very much against the concept of giving ordinary citizens “freedom” to have a say politically. At the same time this person demanded a whole lot of freedom in his own life. The attitude was like, “I love freedom — but others don’t deserve / can’t be trusted with it.”
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Maybe the reason why they felt like they’re entitled to such freedoms and others arent is the mentality is “kiasuism”
When I talk about basic human freedoms to many singaporean, I notice and I’m sure you’ve noticed, many of them speak on an egocentric level instead of holistic view
Hi J. I have never been taken up by the Singaporean elites since 1954 when their verbiage was running miles ahead of their intellect. And it so happened that by accident I gained entry through an Open Entrance Examination into one of the best colleges in the same University as LKY who went into the bottom-rank college by the back-door without an entrance examination and was over-age ! Since then, I became the only Malayan/Malaysian who could see the real LKY. In 1972, I lived in Singapore. Little by little, Government measures of a dictatorial kind began to creep in, like the Government decides what colour a condominium block should be painted, the fine micro-managing of everything that concerns with money and the Government etc. I decided to take my chance in good old Malaysia with all her shortcomings after all we were born to work and not to play or to be served by any Government.
From August 2011, I became more interested to study LKY and his Politics which I found by 2014 to be a self-serving Godless Ultra Communistic Political and Social System imposed on the citizens by Apparatchiks aka Meritocrats bolstered by the CPF-HDB-Quit Rent & Assessment-Income Tax-GST-COE-Traffic Taxes-Water Conservation Tax-Free Subsidised Water from Malaysia-Public Utilities-the Civil Service-the Judiciary-the foreign manned military etc. He garnered loyalty and support through money, money, money which bought up meritocrats, tycoons, prime ministers etc.
Indeed, it is refreshing to note that despite the oppressive measures perpetuated on the hapless citizens from a young age, suddenly a young 16 year old blossomed in 2015 – a person who could see clearly the spider web of self serving intrigue spun by LKY at the height of his powers.
And as for Malaysia which practises a Free Malaysian Style Democracy with Open Capitalisitc Characteristics, the only problem with this System is that the elected digits become recalcitrant and we lose a lot of money.
What do the Political Systems of Malaysia and Singapore tell us ? Malaysia has a reliable and tested Political System which is enduring. But sometimes, as in any Democracy, we might have elected sub-standard digits. In Singapore the digits are the best that are available but the Political System is Communistic and self-serving. It has already gone toxic. Because this Political System is self-serving and exclusive, it does not work after the life-time of its Creator. This logically leads to the question, ‘ Who is going to look after this humongous amount of money after the Dynasty fades away ?’
Both Russia and China adopted the Godless Ultra Communistic System or Singapore Model or Authoritarian Capitalism or benign Dictatorship (no such thing) or LKY Model or Rich Cuba to climb down from the greasy Communistic pole of no return. In September 2013, Russia awarded an academic medal to the Ruler (1959-2015) together with 4 other academics. In 1992, Deng Xiao Peng commented, ‘ They administer well. But we will do better than them.’ Pundits discovered the oligarchs in Russia, the princelings in China and the siblings in Singapore. It is a small World, J !
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Freedom is good… and Freedom of speech is our right… but a bit too much of Anything, even Freedom can get you killed. Just like Water… Water is Life… but too much of it can get you Drowned… as for Amos Yee, well kid, you got served.
1) The AGC got served:
“I have followed this case quite closely and am exceedingly disappointed at the manner in which it was conducted and how the court handled it. The root problem I think is indecisiveness. The judge was unsure as to whether Amos Yee should be treated as an adult or as a child. She may have good intentions for the child but this indecisiveness has unnecessarily prolonged and caused tremendous harm to Amos Yee and his family.”
2) I think this sums it up too:
“One final comment on Amos. Whether one loathes or love him, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that the people and our authorities treat the boy right – with universal values of compassion, fairness and justice.”
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