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Justin Wee is being questioned and reprimanded by school officials for slanderous remarks made about Malaysians and Indians in a recent YouTube video.
Singapore police have filed a report against a student whose alcohol-fueled racist rant has become quite the hit on YouTube.
Justin Wee, a 24-year-old student at the Singapore Institute of Management, is being questioned and reprimanded by school officials for slanderous remarks made about Malaysians and Indians in the video “SIM Student Justin Wee Drunk and Making Racist Jokes in NUS.”
According to the city-state’s Sedition Act, Singaporean citizens are forbidden from promoting “feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Singapore.” Violation of the act is a crime made punishable to varying degrees, but in Sept. 2005, a 17-year-old student was handed a probation sentence of 24 months for racist comments about Malaysians and Muslims.
This isn’t the first time a racist rant on YouTube has yielded serious consequences. In May, Jacqueline Woodhouse, a 42-year-old British woman, was sentenced to five months in prison for “causing alarm and distress” after a video in which she insulted subway passengers of color, calling them “illegal immigrants” and “fucking foreign shitheads” went viral on YouTube.
Wee has tried to combat the accusations by saying that he was drunk at the time and should not be held accountable for his actions. In a YouTube comment that’s since been deleted, he pleaded his case.
“What was said in the video was not my intention for I was drunk at that moment of time,” he wrote, according to Singaporean outlet insing.com. “I will be seeking legal advice regarding this matter. Please remove this video to prevent any further unrest. Thank you.”
Attorney Josephus Tan of Patrick Tan Advocates & Solicitors believes Wee doesn’t have much of a case. He told Channel News Asia that it would be too difficult to prove that Wee was in fact drunk.
“It is very unlikely that Wee’s claims will be given much mitigating weight because as we understand criminal law, the defense of intoxication, even if it’s valid defense, is a very difficult defense to be invoked successfully,” he said.
YouTube’s community guidelines prohibit the use of hate speech, though Google has not yet removed the video from the site.
Photo via YouTube
Chase Hoffberger reported on YouTube, web culture, and crime for the Daily Dot until 2013, when he joined the Austin Chronicle. Until late 2018, he served as that paper’s news editor and reported on criminal justice and politics.