By: B Goode
It is good to hear that finally Amos Yee has been bailed out. And it is also good to know that he will be represented by three lawyers for free. Whether the other two lawyers can better spend their time to assist other accuseds in need is subject to another discussion but at least they can ensure that Amos’ legal rights are protected.
And now you have some people calling for Amos to be freed. There is already an online campaign towards that, and his chief groomer, Roy Ngerng has been sending letters everywhere including the UN and The Vatican using Amos’ case to further his agenda to embarrass the government. He is only embarrassing himself.
Freeing Amos is the last thing that they really want because it runs counter to their real motive. With Amos being arraigned, they can continue with their rant about the government being high-handed and cruel to prosecute a child. If Amos is freed of all culpability, they will be left with nothing. And that was why none of them came forward to bail Amos out.
But Amos must be dealt with. Whether the court will find him not guilty as charged, or if found guilty, he’d be given a light sentence, that would be a different matter. But he must be dealt with according to the law.
Not doing so will open the proverbial can of worms. In Singapore’s context, what he did was tantamount to crossing the redline. It was not about what he said about LKY, but about what he said about Christianity.
Singapore is not the only country with a redline. All countries have it.
If Amos was freed, imagine what would happen next. It would embolden others to do the same because a precedent had been made.
What would happen if a Malay/Muslim boy decided to rant against another religion? Would he be freed as well? He had to. Because if he was prosecuted, there would be an outcry that the government was racist.
The redline is not an arbitrary concept. It is borne out of the circumstances and unique context of a country. In Singapore’s case, it is due to the delicate racial-religious balance that exists not only in the country, but in the region.
Everyone is looking at Amos’ case. Not so much because it is entertaining, but because they want to see the government’s resolve in ensuring that the racial-religious harmony that we are enjoying now is not being taken for granted.