Previously, Singapore issued a rebuttal to their article ““Speak out and be damned” on 9 March 2017.
The Economist cited the conviction of three protesters (including Han Hui Hui) for creating a public nuisance at Speakers’ Corner during a 2015 “Return Our CPF” event as a case in point.
You can read all of our thoughts about it here.
Today, the High Commissioner for Singapore in London, Ms Foo Chi Hsia responded to The Economist, again.
It was an article published in the newspaper, “No place for the crass”, on April 1, about Yee’s recent successful application for asylum in the United States.
The Economist article, commenting on the episode said: “Immigration judges often grant asylum with a simple, spoken ruling. This one explained himself over 13 pages.”
It also suggested, quoting the judge, that the public outrage over the 18-year-old’s comments had mostly focused on his criticism of founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew.
The article described Yee’s online posts as “a profanity-laced video…calling Lee ‘a horrible person’, an ‘awful leader’ and a ‘dictator’.
It added that Yee had only mocked Christianity in “small part”, around 30 seconds, of the 519-seconds long video.
Singaporeans, in general, knew that these assertions were not true and that Amos Yee had also disparaged Christians and Muslims in his online posts.
Ms Foo Chi Hsia reply to The Economist was as follows:
We think that the response by Ms Foo sounds about right.
Free speech doesn’t mean unbridled speech.
Free speech is not defeated when we publicly condemn hate and libellous speech.
“In 2015, Amos Yee insulted Christians, saying Jesus Christ was ‘power hungry and malicious’ and ‘full of bull’.
In 2016, he said: ‘the Islamics seem to have lots of sand in their vaginas…But don’t mind them, they do after all follow a sky wizard and a paedophile prophet. What in the world is a ‘moderate Muslim’? A fucking hypocrite, that’s what!'”