Singapore teen charged after insulting late leader Lee

In a widely watched YouTube video, 16-year-old Amos Yee celebrated Lee Kuan Yew’s death and denigrated Christianity.

Yee, a 16-year-old student, compared Singapore's founding leader to Jesus, calling both "power hungry and malicious" [AFP]

A teenager in Singapore has been arrested for posting an expletive-laden YouTube video attacking the country’s late founding leader Lee Kuan Yew and Christianity.

A district court on Tuesday charged 16-year-old Amos Yee with jailable offences including obscenity and hurting religious feelings but released him on Sg$20,000 ($14,500) bail.

The student smiled and fidgeted as the alleged offences were read to him in court, AFP news agency reported.

In the eight-minute video titled “Lee Kuan Yew is finally dead”, Yee celebrated the death of Singapore’s founding father Lee, who died last week aged 91 and was cremated after a state funeral on Sunday.

Yee also made insensitive remarks about Christianity in the video, which was seen by hundreds of thousands before it was taken down.

He called Lee, who did not profess any religion, a “horrible person” and challenged the former leader’s son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, to sue him.

Yee then went on to compare Lee to Jesus, calling both “power-hungry and malicious”.

If convicted the teenager could face up to three years in jail, police said in a statement.

“Police take a stern view of acts that could threaten religious harmony in Singapore,” police official, Tan Chye said in the statement, seen by the Reuters news agency.

Officials also charged Yee with putting into circulation an obscene object as well as for threatening, abusive or insulting communication under the city-state’s newly enacted Protection from Harassment Act. 

The judge ordered Yee to refrain from making any social media postings while the case is pending.

Outside the courtroom, his teary-eyed father clasped his hands and told reporters: “I would like to take this opportunity to say very sorry to PM Lee”.

His son smiled and waved to reporters as they left the court building.

Source: News Agencies