By Molly Meek
<A reply first posted at @Min Zheng’s post consolidating some thoughts, if anyone is interested. Warning: Exceeds 14-character attention spans times over.>
Not too fond of the Singlish video of his (“pronounciation”?) though he makes sense in the Little India Riot one. My impression remains: he is more intelligent and articulate than many of those around his age in this country (and perhaps this is because this country sucks though I dare say there are those who can make equally sensible points with more finesse). He makes more sense in his comments about the Little India riot than lots of adult observers online, though I think he is being sensible without providing startling insight (which is rare enough these days, I admit). I actually share a lot of the sentiments he has about the education system and how ridiculous it is in the Little India Riot video, and I wish more teenagers would have that ability to detach themselves from what they do in school. Perhaps I seem too exacting here, but I’m saying this because of those who have given him undue praise. Those who continue to severely overrate his talents need to just wake up once and for all. These are the very people who could be causing him to overrate himself in spite of the emphasis on logic and evidence that he himself has emphasized.
Amos Yee has no lack of confidence in front of the camera and is therefore not self-conscious about the little errors he makes here and there, which may be a good thing if he manages to not allow it to ferment into arrogance. He does not give a damn about pleasing either establishment figures or anti-establishment figures, which is also potentially a plus until he fails to practice what he preaches about the need for logic and evidence or see the sense (however limited) in what others say.
I still think no one should have bothered with a police report over the LKY video though he clearly made a terrible move with the latest saga. The joke is really on those who keep on “supporting” him now and on those who spun unbelievably sappy narratives to change his image when he was in remand. I have no idea, though, why some of those who spoke up against his arrest seem to be taking a step back just because he has done something they find much harder to defend. These are two different matters, after all. One should not give up objecting to someone being flogged for rape when he has merely looked lustfully at a women just because the same person is revealed to be a thief. If people would just have that clarity of thought that Amos Yee showed in his best moments, we would have less trouble in this country.
Finally, he has been consistently admirable with his willingness to face the consequences of his actions, but he fails to see that this itself does not make him right or that it is not always he alone who suffers the consequences. Does he really think he is going to pay for the damages in the event that he loses a defamation suit, for instance?
Editorial Note: Yes, Singaporeans need to exercise more discernment, and separate apple from orange, and not lump everything together.