28th March 2015 – YouTuber Amos Yee created a video heavily criticizing the late Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and his son, the present Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. In the video, he made reference of Lee Kuan Yew and Jesus Christ, which led to many police reports made by Lee Kuan Yew supporters in the name of being religiously offended. The 2015 video was viewed nearly 1 million times, with almost 4000 likes and 17000 dislikes.
29th March 2015 – Amos imposed an image of Lee Kuan Yew engaging in a sex act with former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Over 20 police reports was made against the 16 year old over his video and he was arrested at around 12 noon. The posts were all taken down at the time of his arrest. The Singapore Police stated that the arrest was on the grounds of “deliberate intention of wounding the religious or racial feelings”, “threatening, abusive or insulting communication” and obscenity. The Singapore Government-controlled Straits Times reported that even his mother reported Amos to the police. His mother, Mary Toh, however later told The Online Citizen that she had filed a police report on 29 March, “not … to have my son arrested”, but in response to Yee publishing the offensive image online despite her objections, leading her to fear for his safety.
31st March 2015 – Three charges were read out to Amos Yee, the first being seditious for making disparaging remarks against the Christian faith, the second for harassing and causing the supporters of the deceased Lee Kuan Yew to “feel distressed”, and the third for the offensive image. Amos was bailed out by his parents for $20,000 with bail conditions forbidding him from making any online posting on the internet. His father issued an apology to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
3rd April 2015 – Amos’s mother brought Amos to the Institute of Mental Health, but the 16 year old stopped going after two sessions because “it was a waste of time”.
14th April 2015 – Amos re-activated his account and re-posted the offending video. He even created a crowd fund page to gather funds to contest his legal case.
On 16th of April, Amos wrote a thank you note on his crowdfunding page saying:
Well the crowdfund for my courtcase is ongoing, and being dirt poor for several months, it’s exhilarating to see copious amounts of money coming in, even trolls and haters managed to put aside their differences, and donate 1 cent. I am truly humbled. The initial ‘wow’ factor when you see that first $1000 donated to your bank account, is quite intoxicating, and I can’t express how gratified I am for your support and donation.
17th April 2015 – Pre-trial hearing. Amos’s parents refused to post bail for Amos which led him to be remanded in Changi Prison for 3 days.
21st April 2015 – Amos was bailed out by Vincent Law, a family and youth counselor. Three lawyers, Alfred Dodwell, Chong Jia Hao and Ervin Tan, volunteered to represent Amos on pro bono basis.
29th April 2015 – Amos breached his bail conditions on not uploading content online again by making two blog posts; the first, questioned “the ridiculous terms of bail”, which he believed has absolutely nothing to do with his presence in court. The second, he revealed about his father’s violent inclinations and how he was beaten up by his father over the case.
30th April – While on his way to court, a 49 year old red shirt man slapped Amos Yee in public, but the former was later arrested. The Singapore’s mainstream media did not reveal who the 49 year old red shirt man is. Amos was ruled to have breached the bail and it is unknown if Vincent Law managed to get his $20,000 back. The charge on harassing Lee Kuan Yew and his supporters was stood down. Vincent Law did not post bail for Amos again because Amos doesn’t want him to. Singapore listed Popular Bookstore pounced on the slapping incident and posted a photo on Twitter laughing at Amos Yee.
Singapore Popular Bookstore later posted an apology to Amos Yee only after many Singaporeans complain against the distasteful post. Amos was in remand from 30th April to 7th May, who was handcuffed and dressed in prisoner’s clothes according to CPF blogger Roy Ngerng. It is unknown why Amos was given a prisoner’s treatment despite having no judgment ruled from the Singapore Court.
7th May 2015 – Amos Yee was reported to be wearing the prisoner’s white shirt and brown pants pleaded not guilty to the two charges. Amos has this to say about his charges in court:
“I do not have the intention to remove any of the videos that I have made,” said Yee according to Court documents, adding that he also would not remove the post involving Margaret Thatcher and Mr Lee Kuan Yew that was deemed obscene. “I refuse to do this because it would not appease the public, as the video and posts will continue to be circulated, and also because doing so would suggest that I was sorry for the videos and my post, which I am not.”
11th May 2015 – 49 year old Neo Gim Huah has been identified after 11 days of anonymity. During the trial, he pleaded for sentences no harsher than a fine. The prosecution requested for only 2 weeks jail but the District Judge sentenced him 3 weeks. The owner of a aircon repair services company will serve his setence from 11th May onward.
12th May 2015 – Amos Yee has been found guilty even though he did not plead guilty. Despite having 32 police reports made, none of the 32 witnesses took the stand to appear in Court today. Amos Yee, through his Defence lawyer, said that he doesn’t want a probation and prefer to have a jail sentence. The Prosecution however wanted probation for the 16 year old. The Court has been adjourned following the result of a probation report.
Editor’s note: States Times Review will be independent on the reporting. Bookmark this page to see more updates about Amos Yee.