Singaporean teenage blogger Amos Yee has hit back at critics in a new video shortly after he was sentenced to four weeks behind bars for “wounding the religious feelings of Christians”.

In the video, the 17-year old renewed his criticism of the country’s founding prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, comparing him to Osama Bin Laden and saying that Lee was worse. He also said he considered himself to be”the greatest patriot of Singapore”, because he “revealed to the world how much Singapore sucks.”

Yee also addressed his ‘haters’ in the 19-minute long YouTube clip and spoke on topics ranging from patriotism to freedom of speech and more light-hearted issues such as the use of vulgarity and his trademark hair.

Yee said on Facebook that he hoped he wouldn’t be sent to jail again for uploading the video.

“I should have been more considerate about the families and people who were grieving? Well you didn’t say the same thing when it was Osama Bin Laden, and in many respects you can argue that Lee Kuan Yew was worse. At least it was obvious to the public that Bin Laden was a bad person,” Yee said.

The controversial blogger has over 14,000 subscribers on YouTube and 25,000 followers on Facebook.

Amos Yee's Facebook post and video upload.
Amos Yee’s Facebook post and video upload.

Yee also talked about his earlier detention and the freedom of speech.

“People like to consider me as a freedom of speech advocate but, if you realise, initially, I didn’t even fight for freedom of speech. I just thought it was there. And if we were to follow the constitution, I would have the right to say things that piss people off and be immune to any legal action. What you instead chose to do was to send me to jail,” he said.

Yee filed an appeal against his conviction after his video criticising Lee Kuan Yew went viral. The court found him guilty of hurting the feelings of Christians.

Yee claimed that the charge of intending to cause distress to the public for insulting Lee Kuan Yew was withdrawn because there were no legal grounds to punish him for it. However, he said he still had to be charged with something because the government wanted to “portray to the public that you will be severely punished if you dare to criticise the government”.

“You didn’t know that I would break the terms of the bail, have thoughts of suicide, and that Hong Kong would burn Lee Hsien Loong’s face… While you guys are about to celebrate National Day, just keep in mind that this is the country that sent a 17-year old boy to jail for an internet video. I’m just saying, maybe that will make you guys feel more patriotic. Go Singapore.”

The National Day Parade will be held in Singapore this Sunday. The nation is celebrating the Golden Jubilee, its 50th year of independence.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.