Skip Navigation
Search Youth.SG

Taking matters into our own hands



Is it justifiable for us to act on behalf of the law?

Amos Yee has continuously made headlines in Singapore, after posting a YouTube video titled 'Lee Kuan Yew is Finally Dead' following the passing of Singapore's founding father. One of the latest pieces of news involving him however, revolves around another man named Neo Gim Huah – who slapped Amos Yee outside court on Apr 30. Gim Huah has since been sentenced to three weeks of jail for his attack.


Another infamous Singaporean is Jover Chew, who scammed customers' money in the Sim Lim Square saga. Singaporeans who felt a sense of justice for the conned customers decided to take their revenge on Jover. They both harassed him and humiliated him, leaking uncompromising pictures of him online.

What's going on?

The recurring theme in these two incidents is that of Singaporeans feeling strongly about certain incidents and deciding to take matters into their own hands. This brings up the question on whether it is justifiable for Singaporeans to take revenge on people who have done others wrong, especially in extreme ways. Jover and Amos are notorious figures and Singaporeans have expressed distaste and spite towards these two, going as far as calling for legal action to be taken against them. However, is it alright for us to lash out and punish them in ways beyond the scope of the law?

Sheryl, 18, felt that Singaporeans should not take matters into their own hands: "we shouldn't fight fire with fire". Yan Ting, 19, also agreed that sometimes Singaporeans act "too impulsively and have no compassion". Alyssa, 19, cautioned that it is "better to get the whole story first than to react that quickly".

There are also Singaporeans who felt that taking matters into their own hands can be justifiable. : "It is justifiable only if no physical harm is done unto others," commented Kai Yi, 19. She added: "Singaporeans should have freedom of speech and express whatever they feel like".

Online netizens have also been quick to support Gim Huah's attack on Amos Yee.


Cheryl, 18, has a more well-rounded view of this issue. She quoted Gandhi: "An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind." However she was also quick to add that "it's also worthy to note that not all instances of proactivity have seen negative consequences". Regarding the Sim Lim incident, Cheryl said: "The plight of the Vietnamese worker (who was cheated of S$550) was made known to the public and rallied Singaporeans to raise funds and offer to reimburse him more than the money he lost."

What's your take?

  1. Is it justifiable for Singaporeans to take matters like these into their own hands?
  2. What should the boundaries be when it comes to taking matters into our own hands and what is considered 'crossing the line'?
  3. Would you have done the same as the Singaporeans mentioned above?

Similar articles:

  • The blurred lines between bullying and standing up for others
  • Our angry Singaporean internet
  • Don't get angry only at Monica Baey's perpetrator
  • Tags: News Opinions