Singapore — Following news that Amos Yee had been charged with child porn in the United States on Friday (Oct 16), Critical Spectator Michael Petraeus has criticised the support and praise accorded to the youth over the years by various people.
In a Facebook post on Monday (Oct 19), he wrote: “Many people came to Amos’ defence over the years and praised his behaviour — often arguing that he had outgrown the allegedly rigid rules of Singaporean society, which should become more open to dissent.”
Yesterday we had a few laughs about Donald Low's glowing praise of Amos Yee from 2018, when he lauded the teenager for…
He called out a number of Singapore’s “intellectuals”, including “the usual gang of Cherian George, PJ Thum, Alfian Sa’at, Jolovan Wham, Sudhir Vadaketh and dozens of others”, who in July 2015 had signed a letter to the Prime Minister asking for more tolerance of Yee’s behaviour and that of other “non-conformists”.
Mr Petraeus wrote: “I’m sorry, but what do Donald Low, Cherian George, PJ or Sudhir Vadaketh (among others) know about ‘not conforming’ to the rules, when they themselves have done little else but collect diplomas and titles, working in established organisations, following a safe career path?”
In his opinion, successful non-conformists have a pursuit of goals, ideas or a vision. “But Amos Yee never exhibited these traits. He was just an attention seeking spoiled brat who reveled in triggering others — little else. His efforts never had any direction, any goal other than stirring emotions.”
He stated that Yee’s former supporters “couldn’t bring themselves to disown Amos when he started peddling his support for pedophilia. It’s as if he never existed in their lives, as if they never supported him. They’re incapable or unwilling to even take a stand”.
Mr Petraeus is known for his pro-establishment and pro-government slant in his blog posts. He is widely seen to be a strong supporter of the People’s Action Party due to his defence of PAP-led government policies.
Last year, a war of words between Professor Cherian George and Mr Petraeus was made public after, in a tweet posted on (Oct 9, 2019), Dr George posted a link, ostensibly published by Mr Petraeus, to screenshots of an email exchange between them, saying he “couldn’t resist feeding this troll”.
He also described former Nominated Member of Parliament Calvin Cheng as a troll, wondering if the PAP knew how the two men “hurt” it.
In his latest post, Mr Petraeus did voice support for Melissa Chen, the activist who helped Yee seek asylum in the US.
He wrote: “I have to say that as much as we disagreed on Amos, I admired her dedication to taking ACTION to really help him.”
“Ironically, it was Melissa who helped the authorities nab him once the case of the 14-year-old girl became known and investigation was under way. She already publicly disowned Amos back in 2018, seeing how crazy his behavior had become. Now she made sure he would be brought to justice.
“In retrospect, things took an awful turn for her. She took on herself a major effort few others would, to help a complete stranger get a new lease on life. And ultimately he not only turned on her but became a loose cannon and, finally, a criminal,” Mr Petraeus wrote.
He added that he admired and respected Ms Chen because of her taking responsibility over her actions. /TISG