“My father is becoming radicalised by China-propaganda” – a daughter finds out there are more of such cases in Singapore

“He plays many videos about China that are spoken with robotic voices or a human narrating angrily.”

A user took to Reddit’s Singapore community page to seek advice on what she claimed is self-radicalisation of her father due to his consumption of extreme pro-China content. 

The daughter, who goes by the handle “poppraline”, posted a thread on this issue on Friday (24 Jul) – two days before Dickson Yeo’s case was reported. She shared how her father was watching videos “day, afternoon and night” that propagated the strength and prowess of China.  

He gained this interest about a year or so ago. 

Some of the video content she cited were: 

  • China is a lion that is only sleeping right now
  • The islands in the South China sea are China’s

    • China got them first in a past dynasty
    • All other countries opposing China are flawed, barbaric, have violent histories, etc. and they should be ashamed
    • They used to be under the barbaric rule of the West, and (Chinese) should side with China instead
  • Back when the Hong Kong courts overturned the mask ban last year, one video talked about the judges involved: “Foreigners are not Chinese, they don’t have Chinese blood, that’s why they don’t care about China.”

Self-radicalisation is the action or process of an individual adopting radical positions on political or social issues by challenging the legitimacy of established norms and policies

According to the New York Times, radicalisation is a “four-stage process” – pre-radicalisation, self-identification, indoctrination and extremism – that funnels people into terrorism. 

  • “Pre-radical” is to belong to a particular community
  • “Self-identify” is to accept and internalise its belief system
  • “Indoctrination” means being groomed by an organisation
  • “Extremism” is the pledging of allegiance to a terrorist organisation and accepts that violence is a legitimate way to obtain its goals

The process of radicalisation varies for each individual and can take place over an extended period or within a very short time frame. 

The beginning of the radical views

“All this began when our Chinese TV channels started showing mainly shows from China, and removed most shows from Taiwan. He got interested in watching those shows online, and got steadily into angrier-sounding videos through recommendations,” she wrote. 

She said she is bombarded by anti-US videos all day that speak with robotic voices. 

As a result of this, she realised that her father has started verbalising “increasingly extreme and hostile comments” like:

  • Spouting conspiracy theories about SARS and COVID-19 being a western weapon targeting Asian races
  • Dismissal of other reports that claimed it might have originated from other countries, such as Germany
  • Using “angmoh” as a slur against white people
  • Gloating that more “angmohs” are dying from COVID-19, meaning they are inferior to the Chinese
  • Joking about invading the US because they seem weak right now

She continued that her mother is starting to be influenced as she echoes the superiority of China in handling COVID-19 fatalities. 

Similar experiences shared on Reddit

At time of writing, it garnered 396 comments. Other users replied to her post to detail the experiences of their family members as well.

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