Elle Hunt “Australian woman jailed for sedition in Singapore over fake news stories”


Ai Takagi, a 23-year-old Australian of Japanese descent who is eight weeks pregnant, admitted to publishing fabricated stories on the popular website The Real Singapore, which she edited from her home of Brisbane.

The three relevant stories – two targeting Filipinos and the third mainland Chinese – tended to “promote feelings of ill will and hostility” between different races in the diverse micronation, court documents said.

The prosecution said these were a bid to attract page views and extensive advertising revenue from her website. It was shut down after she and her Singaporean husband, Yang Kaiheng, 27, were arrested on a visit to Singapore in February last year.


The deputy public prosecutor, G Kannan, sought a 14-month prison sentence for Takagi, for using a “toxic cocktail of vulgar language innuendo (and) outright fabrication” to demonise foreigners, Channel News Asia reported – including some comments “too vile to be read out in court”*1.

Takagi made a public apology for the harm she had caused in court on Wednesday.

“I love Singapore and hope to call it my home permanently,” she said. “I was not fully aware of the level of sensitivity needed when dealing with topics related to racial and religious issues in Singapore.

“I will be more careful with my online postings in future”


*1:Vanessa Paige Chelvan “Former TRS editor Ai Takagi sentenced to 10 months' jail for sedition”