Singapore’s renowned psychiatrist and former scholar Dr Ang Yong Guan posted on his Facebook page questioned if the punishment of jail term and hefty fines is effective on the 16 year old YouTuber Amos Yee.

He reasoned that Amos’s response made the Singapore Government’s threat of jail term and bankruptcy inconsequential, and very likely causing Amos and other like-minded offenders in the future to be undeterred at all.

Screenshot from Dr Ang's Facebook
Screenshot from Dr Ang’s Facebook

Amos has flatly refused to plead guilty because he does not think what he did was wrong. Secondly, he is NOT interested in bail because the bail comes with several conditions attached which he must have found ridiculous. Thirdly, to many, bail equals freedom to get out of prison until trial date; to Amos, he doesn’t care as he is mentally prepared to remain in prison throughout the trial. Amos is making a lot of people (esp those who are charging him) frustrated / exasperated because his action and reaction defy simple explanation.

And to make things more frustrating for many in authority, Amos is prepared for the worse (“what’s the big deal to go to jail?”). Punishment is supposed to be a deterrent to Amos and other teens.! In this case, has it achieved its aim? Or worse, has it backfired?