Speaking with Reuters while still held in a detention centre in Chicago, Illinois, Singaporean l’enfant terrible, Amos Yee, is a man-boy with a changed heart.
He said on Dec. 30, 2016, he regretted making inflammatory videos about Lee Kuan Yew and religions that landed him in jail twice in Singapore.
Yee, 18, apparently told Reuters in a telephone interview from the McHenry County Adult Correctional Facility where he has been detained since Dec. 16 that the videos he filmed were in bad taste:
"I told you, it is hate speech, it is overly rude, it isn’t good activism," Yee said by telephone from the McHenry County Adult Correctional Facility in Illinois. "I completely regret making those videos."
This is a same line he used when speaking with the New York Times two days earlier, where he intends to craft more palatable messages moving forward.
Yee said then: “I think that the entertainment value of my content actually pushed activism a few steps back.”
In July 2015, Yee was sentenced to four weeks’ jail after he pleaded guilty to six charges for wounding the religious feelings of Christians and Muslims in Singapore.
In late September 2016, Yee was again sentenced to six weeks’ jail for the same offence.
South China Morning Post reported that Yee was detained on Dec. 16, after he landed at O’Hare Airport in Chicago and told customs he was seeking political asylum.
Yee also said in the interview he wanted to live in Illinois and has no plans to return to Singapore to be part of National Service. He has not contacted the Singapore government.
He is likely to have his first hearing in front of a judge within two weeks, according to his lawyer, Sandra Grossman.
Yee also said the United States provided the best platform for spreading his political message of anarchist communism and ending private property and wage labour.