[ View the story "Room for dissent in Singapore? " on Storify] Room for dissent in Singapore? Legal cases involving bloggers have Singaporeans questioning the limitations of free speech.
The Stream· Mon, Jul 20 2015 18:38:54
The legal case of blogger Amos Yee is not over. On Sunday, Yee's lawyer filed an appeal with Singapore's high court against the 16-year-old's conviction and sentence. Yee was convicted of "posting obscene material online" and "wounding religious feelings" and sentenced to four weeks in jail - time which he has already served on remand. He was released July 6.
after authorities received complaints from fellow citizens about the video, "Lee Kuan Yew is Finally Dead!" The post came shortly after the death of Lee, Singapore's former prime minister who is widely regarded as the country's founding father.
Lee Kuan Yew Is Finally Dead!Singapore TV
in custody for at least 50 days. His mother Mary Toh wrote this apology to her son on Facebook:
Mary Toh - Sorry Son. Sorry for telling you that you are... | FacebookSorry Son. Sorry for telling you that you are in the safest country. You are feeling so insecure and scared now. Sorry for urging you to be a...
, supporters spoke against the teenager's detention.
"We are destroying a boy.", speech by... - theonlinecitizen | Facebook"We are destroying a boy.", speech by Jolene Tan, writer for #FreeAmosYee protest at Hong Lim Park, 5 July 2015
But others disagree. Singaporean police said they
at least 15 reports from citizens about the online video. One man decided to teach Yee a lesson with a slap because he felt the video portrayed Singapore "
in a negative light
Man slaps Amos Yee at State CourtsChannel NewsAsia
Yee's case has sparked debate about freedom of speech in the country.
@SoniaAnanti @AJStream Laws are important as they help keep the country and the people safe from any sort of harmGretchen Tham
@SoniaAnanti Sure. They cannot afford to have nutcase like #charliehebdo in Singapore and Malaysia. @AJStream #UmbrellaMovement #OccupyHKKenneth
@SoniaAnanti @AJStream Always knew it was never really "free speech" here, but this #AmosYee case brought it to a whole new level of scary.Beatrice Tan / 陈慧慧
@SoniaAnanti @AJStream Certain taboo subjects like race, religion is heavily regulated. Too many sweeping laws are moderating discourses.Socially_Cal
@SoniaAnanti @AJStream > Those who want greater freedom seek better champions than volatile teen bloggerHaseenah Koyakutty
has also been in the news for being the first Singaporean citizen to be sued by the prime minister for defamation. A court found he had defamed the leader in a blog post about alleged mismanagement of the country's retirement funds. Ngerng has since
and the court is currently
the damages and payment Ngerng owes the government.
In the interview below, Ngerng explains his concerns about economic inequality in Singapore. He asks: "If our country is so rich, why are the people languishing?"
Interview with Blogger Roy Ngerng Sued by Singapore Prime Minister (by Joel Lazarus)Roy Ngerng
Addressing freedom of speech and social media, the Prime Minister Lee said in a
July 2 interview
: "Where we are today is a different society than what we started off with in 1965....I think it is a more open society. The scope for talking about sensitive things is more." He added, "[But] you can't defame anybody you like."
SG50+ Conference - Conversation with PM Lee Hsien LoongInstitute of Policy Studies, NUS
Even though Singapore is
for lack of freedoms, the country has been
for its economic achievements and its half-century transformation into one of the world's major financial and entrepreneurial hubs.
@SoniaAnanti @AJStream #Singapore is an economic inspiration but the lack of free expression and environment of fear very unfortunate. 1/2Thomas Falcone
@SoniaAnanti @AJStream Singaporeans are hardworking, friendly people -- but such a well educated citizenry deserve real democracy. 2/2Thomas Falcone
says criticising politicians should be "fair game":
Ben on politicians as fair gameStreamers AJE
What do you think about the situation of free speech in Singapore? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.