Former Reform Party chairman Charles Yeo Yao Hui, 31, was charged in court on Jan. 19 with wounding the religious feelings of the Christian community with remarks he allegedly made on his Instagram and Facebook pages.
He had also allegedly harassed a police officer.
Yeo, who is a lawyer, was handed six charges in total, according to The Straits Times.
His purported acts were carried out between November 2020 and February 2021.
Yeo's charges pertain to the following:
- Charged with three counts under the Protection from Harassment Act (POHA) of posting Instagram Stories with threatening, abusive and insulting remarks.
- Charged with three counts of making or attempting to make remarks to wound the religious feelings of the Christian community.
Timeline of events
November 2020: Yeo was accused of making a post on his Facebook page that called such Christians "radical and dogmatic" and "fake Christians who use religion for personal gain".
For this, he was charged with intending to wound the religious feelings of Christians.
January 2021: Yeo was also accused of making abusive, insulting and threatening communications against a police officer on his Instagram page.
He first did so in November 2020 and again in January 2021.
The posts identified the officer by name.
According to CNA, Yeo allegedly called the officer "nothing but a pathetic coward and collaborator with an authoritarian regime".
He also said the officer "should be tortured before execution".
February 2021: On two occasions, on Feb.23 and 26, he allegedly attempted to wound the religious feelings of Christians by putting up two posts on his public Instagram page @toxicstatenarrativeinsg.
According to CNA, Yeo's posts referred to Christians from some churches as "homophobes with their trash agenda" and "radical Christians".
They "distort the message of Christ", he also wrote.
Yeo will be disputing charges related to wounding religious feelings.
Other investigations pending
The Commercial Affairs Department is conducting investigations against Yeo.
According to CNA, charges stemming from those investigations would likely be dealt with separately, the prosecutor said.
Yeo's mother posted bail of S$5,000, CNA reported.
Yeo attended court in person.
The prosecution emphasised that Yeo should be "mindful" about his social media posts, it was also reported.
Yeo's Facebook page is no longer accessible.
A pre-trial conference has been set for Feb. 25.
Criminal breach of trust and forgery offences
Yeo was arrested for his suspected involvement in criminal breach of trust and forgery offences after reports were lodged against Whitefield Law Corporation.
Claimed charges "politically motivated"
Yeo has stepped down from his position as chairman of the Reform Party following his arrest.
He previously claimed that he did not commit the offences and that the charges against him are "politically motivated" and the alleged offences were "trumped up and false".
The police responded and said they categorically reject Yeo’s allegations that the investigations are "politically motivated".
Neither are the allegations “trumped up” for political reasons, they added
If convicted under POHA, Yeo can be jailed for up to a year, fined up to S$5,000, or both per charge.
If found guilty of deliberately wounding the religious feelings of any person, he can be jailed for up to three years, fined, or both per charge.
Top photo via Lianhe Zaobao