Sin­ga­porean, Aus­tralian charged over anti-for­eigner fo­rum

The China Post - - GUIDE POST -

A Sin­ga­porean man and an Aus­tralian woman be­hind an on­line fo­rum that of­ten at­tacks im­mi­grants and for­eign work­ers in Sin­ga­pore were charged Tues­day with sedi­tion, an of­fense pun­ish­able by jail.

Sin­ga­porean Yang Kai­heng, 26, and Ja­panese-Aus­tralian Ai Takagi, 22, each face seven counts of sedi­tion for ar­ti­cles pub­lished on a web­site called The Real Sin­ga­pore and its Face­book page be­tween Oc­to­ber 2013 and Fe­bru­ary this year, court doc­u­ments showed.

The two, de­scribed by lo­cal me- dia as a cou­ple based in Australia, were also charged with with­hold­ing doc­u­ments on the web­site’s fi­nances from po­lice. They im­me­di­ately posted bail.

The Real Sin­ga­pore’s Face­book page has more than 415,000 fol­low­ers, and com­men­ta­tors on tech­nol­ogy fo­rums say the web­site likely earns thou­sands of dol­lars a month in ad­ver­tis­ing rev­enues.

Sin­ga­pore clamps down hard on any­one seen to be in­cit­ing communal ten­sions af­ter experiencing bloody racial ri­ots in the 1960s.

The case comes a week af­ter a Filipino nurse who in­sulted Singa- pore­ans on­line and called for the takeover of the city-state by his coun­try­men was slapped with two charges un­der the Sedi­tion Act, a rarely used colo­nial-era law.

Among other mat­ters, the law makes it an of­fense to pro­mote hos­til­ity be­tween dif­fer­ent races or classes in mul­tira­cial Sin­ga­pore, which is mainly eth­nic Chi­nese.

The charge sheets said seven ar­ti­cles posted by Yang and Takagi on The Real Sin­ga­pore “have the ten­dency to pro­mote feel­ings of ill­will and hos­til­ity be­tween dif­fer­ent classes of the pop­u­la­tion of Sin­ga­pore.”

Among those flagged by state pros­e­cu­tors was an ar­ti­cle pub­lished on Feb. 4.

The post “falsely as­serted” that a Filipino cou­ple had in­sti­gated a fra­cas that broke out be­tween po­lice and sev­eral Sin­ga­porean In­di­ans tak­ing part in a Hindu street pro­ces­sion on Feb. 3.

Other posts de­rided Chi­nese na­tion­als and other guest work­ers work­ing and living in the citys­tate, the doc­u­ments showed.

The ad­min­is­tra­tors of The Real Sin­ga­pore had re­mained anony­mous un­til Yang and Takagi were ar­rested in Fe­bru­ary.

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