Teenage blogger who called Lee Kuan Yew a 'horrible person' is arrested by Singapore police

Amos Yee likened the late founding prime minister to 'malicious' Jesus Christ

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The Independent Online

A teenage boy who posted a video describing late founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew as a “horrible person” has been arrested by Singapore police.

YouTube blogger Amos Yee uploaded the eight-minute video, called ‘Lee Kuan Yew Is Finally Dead!’ on 27 March.

Police have confirmed that a 17-year-old male Singaporean has been arrested.

In the video, the teenager said: “Lee Kuan Yew was a horrible person, because everyone is scared.

“Everyone is afraid if they say something like that, they might get into trouble…which, give Lee Kuan Yew credit, that was primarily the impact of his legacy.

“But I’m not afraid.”

Supporters viewed Lee as a towering figure in post-colonial Asia

He also likened Mr Lee to Jesus Christ, saying that they “are both power-hungry and malicious but deceive others into thinking they are both compassionate and kind”.

Police said numerous complaints were made and reports subsequently lodged.

Lawyer Chia Boon Teck, who lodged one of the police reports against Yee, said: “The individual had said many things against Mr Lee and the government that are defamatory under the penal code as well as in violation of the sedition act.

“His utterances against Christians also amounted to a ‘deliberate intent to wound religious feelings’ under the penal code

“There is a limit to freedom of speech. If the line separating freedom and offence is crossed, the person will have to face the consequences.”

Yee has since taken down the video, but it has been re-uploaded by others on YouTube.

Mr Lee died on 23 March from severe pneumonia and his death led to a seven-day period of national mourning.

Despite torrential rain, tens of thousands lined the streets to view the funeral procession carrying Mr Lee's coffin through the city-state on Sunday.

A state funeral then took place attended by world leaders, ahead of a private family cremation ceremony.

About 1.5 million people paid tribute to Mr Lee at sites around the country this week, the government said.

In his eulogy, Mr Lee's son, the current prime minister Lee Hsien Loong, said his father had "lived and breathed Singapore all his life".

For some, the lodging of police reports and subsequent arrest of Yee is a sign that the suppression of free speech during Lee’s time in power has continued as a part of governance in Singapore.