Former The Real Singapore editor Yang Kai Heng will be suing the government-controlled media, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), for quoting an anonymous source who claimed that the former assaulted a university shuttle bus driver. According to SPH’s Chinese papers, Shin Min Daily, Yang Kai Heng allegedly boarded a shuttle bus servicing the National University of Singapore (NUS) and turned violent against the China-national driver.
SPH headlined the news “真实新加坡再惹风坡: 涉爆粗踢人” (TRS Editor create more troubles: violently kick someone), labelling Yang Kai Heng as a troublemaker. The anonymous source from SPH said that Yang Kai Heng was shouting and kicking the driver in an unruly manner. However, the outcome said that the driver has been suspended while the police who was at the scene did not arrest Yang Kai Heng. There were no other witnesses quoted.
Yang Kai Heng has since taken to Facebook and posted that the SPH reporting is untrue and he will be taking legal actions against SPH. You may view the original link here. The actual event that happened according to Yang Kai Heng is as follow:
“Mr Yang and Ms Takagi boarded the NUS shuttle bus from Prince George Park Terminal after attending to some business matters at the Takagi Ramen outlet at the food court there.
After boarding the bus, the bus driver started glaring at the two and started shouting something incomprehensible. At first, the couple did not take note as they were unsure what was happening and did not even know who the driver was shouting at.
A short while later, while stopped at the traffic light just outside NUS, the driver turned around in his seat, and looked directly at Mr Yang and Ms Takagi who were seated in the middle of the bus, just behind the rear door. The driver continued shouting but again, the couple were unable to make out what he was saying as he had a thick northern China accent and spoke very quickly.
Mr Yang called back at the driver and explained that he couldn’t hear him clearly and asked what he wanted. The driver continued to shout but it was still unclear what he was shouting about. When Mr Yang failed to respond to the driver, the driver suddenly became very aggressive, left his seat and stomped aggressively towards the passengers, still shouting incomprehensibly.
The bus driver stormed right up to Mr Yang and Ms Takagi and started pointing his finger directly at Mr Yang’s face. His finger was brushing Mr Yang’s nose and he raised his voice further.
Frustrated at the driver’s hostility and aggressive attitude and still not sure what the driver was shouting about, Mr Yang and Ms Takagi shouted back and asked him why he couldn’t just calmly explain what the problem was.
They attempted to explain to him that they couldn’t understand what he was saying as he was shouting very fast, but the driver was already not interested to listen.
He continued shouting and several unpleasant words were exchanged. During the exchange, the driver continued to point his finger right in Mr Yang’s face, scolding him. When Mr Yang attempted to move the driver’s finger away from his nose, the man got more aggressive and started to punch Mr Yang’s chest and grabbed and twisted his finger when Mr Yang attempted to defend himself.
In the scuffle, while still seated, Mr Yang put up his foot to create some more distance between himself and the driver. At that point, the driver was actually leaning over and pressing against Ms Takagi to get at Mr Yang. The driver then proceeded to remove Mr Yang’s slipper and used it to slap him on the arms repeatedly before slapping the chairs.
After a short while, he calmed down slightly and went back to his seat at the front. Mr Yang then proceeded to call the police to report the assault which had taken place.
Police and a supervisor from Comfort Delgro arrived at the scene shortly after and took statements and retrieved the CCTV footage from the bus.
The police concluded that it was a case of voluntarily causing hurt and advised Mr Yang that, as the victim, he could press charges against the driver if he wanted to. Mr Yang later decided that it was not necessary as he did not want to blow up the issue and felt that perhaps the driver was just having a bad day or maybe he had been influenced by the recent negative publicity of him.
Despite no official charges being pressed by Mr Yang, Comfort Delgro has decided to take action against the driver and suspend him following a review of the CCTV footage and their internal investigations into the case.
Even the police first responders confirmed that Mr Yang was indeed the victim in the case and left it up to him whether or not he wished to press charges.”
This is the second time Yang Kai Heng has been assaulted. Last week, just outside the Singapore Supreme Court, an anonymous man slapped Yang Kai Heng with a stash of papers. The police who witnessed the scene did not make an arrest on the offender.
This is the second time SPH has been sued for defamation. TRS editor Yang Kai Heng won the lawsuit and was compensated an undisclosed sum by SPH.