Former editor and owner of The Real Singapore (TRS), Yang Kai Heng and Ai Takagi, are now out of prison and steadily getting their lives back together. In April and May this year, the couple were jailed 8 and 10 month each for publishing news reports that embarrassed the ruling party government and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The duo also faced over 200 charges of copyrights infringements by state media Singapore Press Holdings – a deliberate act of political persecution by the Singapore government.
Ai Takagi was released in Nov while Yang Kai Heng came back just two weeks ago on Dec 14. According to Ai Takagi, she had a miscarriage prior to entering prison in April this year.
In a Facebook update on his page, Yang Kai Heng wrote that he and his family had chosen to stay in Singapore because he had to take care of his father who is now permanently paralyzed. Recounting his prison sentence as “painful”, the former writer lost 20kg during his incarceration. The husband and wife duo are now managing their popular ramen shop, Takagi Ramen, and it is understood that they have no plan to write anymore.
You may read Yang Kai Heng’s full post here.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is losing popularity due to his inability to handle both domestic and external affairs, with particular highlights including MRT breakdowns, housing prices, Presidential Election and China. The dictator Prime Minister however chose to silent critics via defamation lawsuits, the abuse of police force under the all-encompassing Sedition Act and new media censorship regulations. In Nov 2016, Lee Hsien Loong’s corrupted political manoeuvres earned him a “predator” title alongside terrorists and dictators like North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.
Among Lee Hsien Loong’s victims, are Yang Kai Heng and Ai Takagi who were jailed. Writer Roy Ngerng was sentenced to “compensate” Lee Hsien Loong S$150,000 without a trial. Artist Leslie Chew was arrested and detained for unflattering cartoons of the dictator Prime Minister. Youtube film-maker, Amos Yee was jailed twice of over 70 days and the 18-year-old teenager had to seek asylum in United States despite his age. States Times Review editor and former TRS editor Alex Tan imposed a self-exile in March 2015, following the arrests of TRS editors and is now residing in Sydney Australia.