Law society disagrees with findings of US judge

The Law Society of Singapore (the Society) disagrees with the findingsabout Singapore's criminal justice system by US judge Samuel Cole, in allowing asylum for Mr Amos Yee in the United States (US judge grants Amos Yee's asylum request; March 26).

We note the 30-day period for the US Department of Homeland Security to appeal against the immigration judge's ruling.

The Society will consider issuing a fuller statement after an appeal is made, or the appeal period is spent.

The judge's opinion in the judgment appears to gloss over the critical fact that Mr Yee was lawfully prosecuted in a court of law.

In his 2016 prosecution, he pleaded guilty to charges of wounding the religious feelings of Christians and Muslims.

He was ultimately convicted, and sentenced, by competent courts in Singapore for criminal offences.

At all times, Mr Yee had been legally represented and was afforded all due process in law.

Allowing immunity for hate speech only encourages the undermining of values in a functional democracy.

That may be the new normal elsewhere. But law and order in Singapore trumps any individual's desire to shoot his mouth off with social virulence and venom.

Gregory Vijayendran

President

The Law Society of Singapore

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 28, 2017, with the headline 'Law society disagrees with findings of US judge'. Print Edition | Subscribe