Dickson Yeo is probably one of the most well-known Singaporeans in the world right now.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you might want to catch yourself up on this infamous Singaporean that is in the hands of the US justice system right now:
- Dickson Yeo Jun Wei: 11 Facts About the S’porean Who’s a “China Spy”
- S’pore & NUS Respond to Singaporean & China Spy; He Has Since Been & Expelled from NUS
- Ex-Diplomat Said S’porean Spying for China Has Tried to Apply for Work in S’pore Gov Agencies with Classified Info
Basically put, he’s a Singaporean who was caught spying on the US for China with the use of algorithms.
NUS has washed their hands off him almost immediately after and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) says they’re rendering assistance to Yeo as he’s a Singaporean.
Dickson Yeo’s Online Writings Include Claiming That ‘Being Poor in S’pore is Like Being in Prison’
On 11 Aug 2020, Straits Times ran an article on the past of Dickson Yeo, trying to find out what he was thinking and what he was like back in the past.
In other words, why he did what he did.
And turns out, he was quite outspoken in the past.
While friends and classmates declined to comment or reply to ST’s queries, the national newspaper managed to find his digital footprints.
Other than LinkedIn, where he does most of his alleged spy work, he is also a frequent commenter on Quora where he made more than 200 posts between 2014 and 2019.
His posts range from his thoughts on life to confrontations against fellow Quora commenters.
He also frequently commented on online news sites like The Diplomat and Shanghaiist.
A Sinophile (Someone Who Admires Chinese Culture)
Yeo also frequently expressed support for China in his online views.
To anyone who has misconceptions about China, he’ll correct them with blatant impatience.
In a post he made in 2016, he reportedly said that he admired China for their “refusal to be defeated in life”, their optimism in bad times and the desire to explore.
He was also seen posting selfies of himself holding Xiaomi and Vivo mobile phones. Both are products of Chinese companies.
However, despite how pro-China he was, he was practical when it comes to Singapore.
He once explained that Singapore cannot be pro-anything.
Pointing out that Singapore is a tiny city-state “on the edge of several empires”, Singapore can only afford to be “pro-survival”.
Yeo claimed in his online posts that he has humble beginnings. He grew up in the Pandan Loop area and his parents were not educated.
He could remember his mother being a proud woman and refuses to accept help from anyone.
When he was eight, he said, he could remember wanting a burger. Even though his aunt has offered to pay, his mother refused and they had to bargain for the price to be brought down.
It was a “pretty miserable” meal, he recalled in his post in 2017.
Nonetheless, he loves his parents and often wrote about how he would take care of them.
In a question about what he would do if he had a billion dollars, he had replied that he’ll set up a trust fund for them which will dispense S$9,600 to each person.
In another post, he says he’ll want them to live any way they wish without any worries.
Other than showing support for China and proclaiming his love for his parents, Yeo also touched on other matters in his online posts.
One of them was from an unemployed graduate who wanted to take his own life. Then, Yeo told him that it’ll get better, and that “nothing is worth killing yourself for”.
He had also claimed that in Singapore where the education and work system is “fast-paced” and “stressful”, “being poor is like being in prison”.
He had written about teaching a rich kid who lived in a bungalow and could remember crying after an argument with the 17-year-old student who taunted him.
In July 2017, he had also offered to help an anonymous netizen find work, saying that his talent shouldn’t go to waste.
Observers had commented that spies are trained to adopt different personalities to catch potential targets.
Yeo is scheduled to be sentenced on 9 Oct 2020 and is facing up to 10 years in prison.