Internet-famous Reform Party leader Charles Yeo has found himself in another online scuffle after saying those opposed to a minimum wage in Singapore should “be shot.”
The 30-year-old was expressing support for introducing a minimum wage when he blew up his opinion with the explosive statement, unsurprisingly earning a fierce backlash. Yeo told Coconuts Singapore today that he would no longer entertain his haters after earlier dismissing his comment as merely a figure of speech.
“For the record- ‘ought to be shot’ in my post yesterday is a figure of speech/a metaphor. It did not mean I literally think they should be shot dead- where would we get a gun in [Singapore] anyway?” Yeo said.
Despite swearing off haters, Yeo was still slinging insults at bloggers Michael Petraeus and Donovan Choy as of press time for criticizing him. The party chairman even went so far as to allege to Coconuts Singapore that his critics were paid by the ruling People’s Action Party.
“The so called netizens are no more than supporters of two paid [People’s Action Party] [Internet Brigade] propagandists, one of whom is a foreigner who has no basis commenting on Singapore politics. I rest my case,” he said, referring to Petraeus, who is reportedly from Poland.
He also sells hand sanitizers online and runs the Critical Spectator website.
Yeo wrote about minimum wage on Instagram yesterday, echoing opposition leader Pritam Singh’s proposal for a S$1,300 universal minimum wage. A minimum wage has been an ongoing topic of debate between ruling and opposition politicians since July’s elections but Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has never shown support for it and has said that the policy does not solve the problems of low-wage workers.
Through five different posts, Yeo wrote yesterday that the minimum wage should be set at S$1,700 instead of the S$1,300 that was proposed by Singh on Monday as he thinks that S$1,300 is too little to survive in Singapore.
“A minimum wage of 1300 is still fairly low [in my opinion]. I’m not an economist but I would say she needs at least 1700-2000 to survive in [Singapore] – much less think of raising a family,” Yeo said, later adding: “People who oppose minimum wage need to be shot. I am not even joking. Its fucking disgusting how they think they can get away with oppressing the voiceless.”
Choy, who writes political commentaries on Medium, said that Yeo was not qualified to comment on economic policies while Petraeus highlighted Yeo’s radical behavior, questioning whether the Reform Party approves of their leader’s views.
“To see its leading representative freely promoting ideas of killing people who have different opinions is, at the very least, disconcerting. Does the Reform Party support his views?” Petraeus said today.
Choy said: “Your average Opposition politician in Singapore: I’m not an economist, I don’t study economic theory, I haven’t looked at the empirical evidence, but here’s my uninformed opinion anyway. Can someone please take Charles Yeo’s Instagram account away from him?”
Yeo hit back at Choy by calling him a “joke” and a “neo fascist,” among many others, and went on Facebook to tell Petraeus to “go and die.”
Your average Opposition politician in Singapore: I’m not an economist, I don’t study economic theory, I haven’t looked…
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