Former TRS editor who now runs ramen stall “terribly disappointed” that PAP Policy Forum holds “unfair” views about him, even after jail term

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One of the founders of the now-defunct The Real Singapore (TRS) website, Yang Kaiheng, has lamented that he is unable to move on with his life, even after he served a jail term for publishing supposedly seditious articles on his website, as he believes that the authorities still hold and spread “unfair” views about his intentions.

Yang’s comments come after news organisations reported on the People’s Action Party (PAP) Policy Forum’s written submission to the Select Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods yesterday, in which the forum asserted that the founders of TRS had spread deliberate online falsehoods to generate revenue.

The forum – an arm of the ruling party that engages the Government on policy matters – had been addressing a report by the Human Rights Watch (HRW) report. The PAP unit slammed the report which called Singapore a “repressive place” that imposed criminal penalties for peaceful speech.

Along with other examples, the HRW report had cited how TRS was charged with sedition, “although none of the posts for which they were prosecuted encouraged any sort of public disorder, much less incited violence or overt discrimination against any particular religion or ethnic group”.

The PAP Policy Forum asserted that the report failed to note that the founders of TRS fabricated “sensational falsehoods” against foreigners to generate advertising revenue. It added: “The TRS case is a classic example of deliberate online falsehoods, which can seriously undermine societal trust, social peace. Does HRW seek to perpetuate such deliberate online falsehoods by using them as reference points?”

Yang responded to a mainstream media news report covering the forum’s views and said that he is “terribly disappointed” and that it is “unfair” of the forum team to insinuate that he purposefully spread falsehoods to make money.

Addressing his comments to the forum itself, Yang said that he has paid his price for not doing his due diligence to check the seditious articles before they were published on his website. He argued that although he pleaded guilty to charges under the Sedition Act, he did not admit to deliberately fabricating articles for money.

The Singaporean, who now runs a ramen stall alongside his wife, said that views such as this – that he deliberately spread falsehoods for money – make it difficult for him to move on with his life. He requested that the forum refrain from spreading such views that he says are not true.

Read his appeal in full here:

“Dear PAP Policy Forum, 
“I am the founder of the now defunct TheRealSingapore.com and I went to jail for 8 months by pleading guilty to sedition. I pleaded guilty because I am unable to prove in court that the articles in question does not have seditious tendencies because simi-sai also can be proven to have seditious tendencies. 
“However it is unfair for you to say that I deliberately fabricated news that sow discord among religious groups in Singapore just to make money. As you already know the website is generating half a million dollar in revenue every year with users posting and contributing up to 10,000 articles in a year, why would I give up all that “lucrative” money just to fabricate 7 seditious articles which on average made only $116 in advertising revenue?
“I am remorseful and accepted my punishment for not doing due diligence check which resulted in the 8 articles being posted on my website.
“I am terribly dissapointed that after serving my prison sentence I am still unable to move on with my life and one of my customer actually call me up highlighting this article to me. I have a ramen business to run now so I kindly ask that you do not anyhow say things that are not true. Pleading guilty to the sedition act is not the same as admitting to deliberately fabricating articles for money. Thank you.”

This is not the first time Yang has disputed views regarding the case he and his wife were entangled in. Just two months ago, in January this year, Yang slammed Mediacorp’s online news publication TODAY online for publishing “outright false and defamatory” allegations against him and his wife:

TRS co-founder slams TODAY for “outright false and defamatory” allegations against him and his wife

88 COMMENTS

      • This is not true that they were out to create discord. They just created the platform for netizens to air their opinions and grievances.
        The only fault was that they were not careful enough, too young and trusting, such that an excuse was found to nail them. Many other critics were persecuted in a similar manner, through well plotted distortion of the original intent.
        When there is a will, there is always a way to silence any criticisms.

  1. TRS has been made as an example to further any policies to curb online criticisms and scrutiny of the PAP government. TRS is still very green, holding the naive belief that they would be left alone after jail sentences and could move on. The PAP government cannot be trusted and you will never get a fair trial or justice especially on matter of their governance.
    Never compromise on anything you have not done. This is the lesson learned. Never compromise on your integrity or intention under coerced. You could have already weigh the consequences, perhaps hefty fines to make you a bankrupt. The decision is not easy but you should continue to stand up against any bullying or untruths made again you. Why many of our oppositions do not compromise or surrender under threats, the reason is obvious. These greedy devils will hunt and wear you down, continue to demonise you and exonerate their greedy evil doings, it’s in their genes.

  2. Thank you for giving me a voice The Independent by sharing my side of the story.

    A regular customer at my ramen shop was shocked to hear that the PAP Policy Forum said that I deliberately fabricated news to hurt racial groups in Singapore and pointed me to the CNA article.

    This is untrue.

    I had a tough time explaining to him that what actually happened is that due to the nature of the crowdsourcing portal which has hundreds of submissions daily, I did a terrible job in ensuring accurate information gets published on the site.

    I also tried clarifying myself by commenting on the article’s facebook post but was immediately drowned out by 10+ fake accounts from the PAP Internet Brigade. These multiple fake accounts also immediately left 1 star review on my business Facebook page. These people are trying very hard to destroy my food business despite none of them actually trying my food.

    The yellow ribbon project slogan is to help unlock the 2nd prison. Seems like my 2nd prison will never be unlocked in Singapore.

    • I still don’t understand why pappy is so concern about these individuals. After all, we are all Singaporeans with different ideas of how to reach the end goal of a better Singapore. But I didn’t see pappy do anything to the website run by the tutor from down under. What about interference from China ? At the business and clan levels. And the number of YouTube videos that criticise Singapore. Saying doomsday prediction arising from Kra Canal, Arctic Route, Forest City, Malacca Port. Hey you pappy internet brigade. Go and deal with those 5 mao propaganda department people. Watch out for the non Singaporeans. Don’t just hantam your own people. The harm from non Singaporeans is even greater. Because they want us to be on our knees and show obeisance. All of us, whether pappy, WP, CST, etc. All Singaporeans to kow tow. And mark my words, there will be someone coming up to defend the red flag after they see what is written here.

    • I’m not an IB but I wanna tell you, you’re at the receiving end of what you used to allow on your site.

      Your failing to ensure what get posted and what doesn’t destroy credibility of others.

      You’re getting a taste of it now. Unlocking the 2nd prison takes time and acceptance is not given just because you think you deserve it.

      You may think the IBs are out to make your life hell but is your life hellish? It’s just not as comfortable as you would like it.

      Perhaps your supporters or those anti government brigade can show you their support by patronizing your stall instead of just blabbering in words only.

      Hang in there. If you are genuine, perhaps there’ll be a change of hearts. But seeing how unforgiving most people are, you have an uphill task.

    • Edwin Kwan @ wake up. Some people would do anything for money and power it means to destroy an innocent family or a child. If people of singapore consider themselves united, they shouldn’t vote to screw each other. If they vote for our death sentence then we would also wish the same of them.

    • Don’t fret over these issues. Just move on. You have no time to worry or fret about the views but you got time to focus on your ramen business. BTW, keep up the great work on you ramen as it is very delicious. Wish you all the best Mr. Kai Heng.

  3. Magnanimity and compassion will bode well for the PAP. There is no point returning to the “hantam opposition” technique of yesteryears. Your voters are now more educated, global wise and travel wise. They may keep quiet for now. But watching every step you take. Holding the anger about the MRT, Hepatitis, Keppel saga. Waiting for your goodies to sweeten their votes. They are a lot cleverer and you will have to spend more social costs in future budget for the sweetening. Watch out if you take steps that trigger their anger eg 4G leaders as seat warmers. Certainly some core leaders will understand what is being written. Because the next gen is not LKY or his team mates, there is no “heart to heart ” linkage. LKY and Singaporeans grew up together. But you guys have good pay, and there are still cases of social inequalities in this “rich” high per capita GDP country. Hope you will defend Singaporeans and our well wishers with the same bravado when you are bullied by the big regional players. Don’t Mickey Mouse out.

    • Well, if the naturalised Singaporeans suck up to the RCs, then opposition parties need to think of counter-measures. Walk the ground with Tamil and Chinese speaking people. Walk now ! Keep an eye for these new people. Some opposition wards could have capitalised in this with new citizen welcome party eg Hougang. Not sure if their eyeballs are as sharp as us. Then show to others by social media that they care as much as the pappy.

  4. Like I said before – they’re unrepentant.

    These 2 idiots spread deliberate and exaggerated falsehoods all over the place, tearing Singaporeans apart.

    Of course warren Fernandez of ST is full of shit too, you can clearly see the PAP’s controlling hands up his arse, yet that doesn’t mean TRS is good for Singaporeans.

    There are opposing voices like the independent and TOC, but TRS is basically the poorer version of Fox News.

    Remember their primary motive is to make money.. and they’ve made money off angry Singaporeans, taking advantage of you. But Singaporeans are still angry, while they have money to start a new business.

    Oh and their ramen stall sucks too. Funny, since I only found that out after I tried it out.

    There are better ways to go against the govt than to help 2 unrepentant snakes who took advantage of your anger to make $$$

    • Another educated daft. PAP will use the slightest excuse to persecute those who spoke out against them. Sedition is a hypocritical excuse, PAP policy is more divisive than any of the noises made by concerned netizens. It is PAP government that is stirring shit, pitting citizens against each other with lies and giving sinkies unfounded ugly names to advance their own agenda.

  5. Precisely … if there are no alternate media, social media, there will probably be no opportunity to address inaccurate news from the MSM… like Shan shutting down the FB executive to respond to his ‘if I am wrong…’ telling Milner that he doesn’t need a reply.

    Shall visit the next time I visit SG Yang Kaiheng…

  6. How do I know this is not a gimmick to advertise your stall to fools?

    Coz if your business succeeds, it’ll be showing it to the govt and if it fails, boohoo, PAP is big bad wolf.

    Either way, you gain, again. Just like how you used your site.

  7. As long as he is Singapore this kind of things were bound to happen rightly so both served their sentences but they didn’t apologize to the Whites so I suppose the saga will crop up now and then. Their internet brigade is well equipped and from some of the comments here you can spot it easily.

  8. Please, pap forum group, leave Mr Yang and wife alone to carry on with their life. They had already served their times, therefore, please have a good heart, and not to write about them unnecessary and negatively. They need to survive and make a living themselves and move on. I hope the forum group has better things to write to improve the lives of the poor or the lower end of our society. Lastly, wish more people will support the couple”s food business at AMK.

    • An alternative view is considered discord I beg to differ. It is appropriate for the Government to lie to the
      citizens for the benefit of the polls, but it is subversive and destructive for anyone else in the oppositions to lie. The governments also have the tendency to self-deception. They easily believe what they want us to believe, and tend to deny, ignore, or distort the truth of statements which have unpleasant or undesirable to the consequences. A good example is the running of TC. When their TCs lost millions in hard-earned citizens, they lied to justify their losses. When the opposition WP did not even lose money, they disseminated falsehood to con the voters that millions were unaccounted for when the opposite is the truth.

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