Singapore is a weird country. It is technologically advanced, very modern society, boasting one of the highest standards of living and education and literacy in the world. And yet, when it comes to basic civil liberties, it is atrocious, criminalizing all manner of speech and behavior that would not raise an eyebrow in other countries that are similar to it. It has (or at least used to have) laws regulating the length of hair that men can have, massively punishing littering, and other things that it feels are not conducive of good order.
The latest example of this is a 17-year old blogger Amos Yee who has been jailed for six weeks for “wounding religious feelings”. You can read his blog here. He is undoubtedly outspoken in his views and the language that he expresses them in. It is also clear that he intends to wound religious feelings and is annoyed when religious people are not offended by him. So he pleaded guilty to the charge and is proud of it.
It looks like he is used to prison. He spent a month in it last year for attacking Christianity and seems cheerfully resigned to being a repeat offender.
My views of some of the violations of the state of civil liberties in Singapore may be out of date. Are there any Singaporeans among this readership who can update me on the current state of civil liberties? Not just the laws on the books but which ones are actually enforced, since all countries have archaic laws that everyone just ignores because they haven’t got around to repealing them.