Yahoo! Singapore recently carried an article by Alfian Sa’at detailing a conversation he had with Amos Yee.
In the article, Alfian Sa’at essentially tries to “humanize” Amos by portraying him as a wide-eyed harmless teenager who is more bark than bite. Alfian does this by sharing snippets of his conversations with Amos. For example how Amos' school-mates used to make fun of his name, about his interest sci-fi movies, and how Amos has an “endearing” habit of stroking his chin before he spoke.
Alfian then goes on to talk about how mature and enlightened Amos is for his age. Alfian shares how Amos sees the use of vulgarities as a message in and of itself, and how Amos believes that he has a higher purpose in life which goes beyond how his actions may hurt his parents. In short Alfian’s message to Singaporeans is that Amos is your everyday teenager who is idealistic and who rants and raves. Amos is harmless.
Unfortunately, Alfian is wrong! Amos is not your everyday teenager. Sure Teenagers rant and rave. I was one too. However, how many teenagers deliberately and knowing break the law? How many teenagers will openly defy a court order? And how many teenagers will maliciously tarnish the name and reputation of a good Samaritan (Vincent Law) as a lark?
So Alfian, Amos is not the innocent teenager you portray him to be. He is far from it. By your own admission, Amos is wise beyond his age. As such, Amos fully knows what he is doing and should face the full weight of the law for his actions. Just ask Vincent Law.
It is ironic that Amos accepts that he has broken the law and is willing to accept his punishment, while so-called more “experienced” activists like yourself baulk at the concept of Amos answering for his actions. Perhaps, just perhaps, your cries to #FreeAmos is self-serving and Amos is more of a man than you will ever be.