Our letter to Mr Yang Kaiheng

Dear Mr Yang Kaiheng,

We recently read about you again when Mothership reported on your Facebook comment to the PAP Policy Forum to say that it is unfair of them to say you fabricated fake news that sow discord among religious groups in Singapore for profit.  And you are disappointed that you are unable to move on with life.

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As much as we support giving people second chances and we are glad you have moved on to selling yummy ramen to Singaporeans, we also would like to point out that your distancing from the infamous seditious TRS articles like not very accurate leh, even though you said you are remorseful.

First you said you pleaded guilty only because you are unable to prove in court that the articles do not have seditious tendencies. Yup, you had wanted to claim trial to the charges but decided to plead guilty in the end after your pregnant wife pleaded guilty to her charges.

And wasn’t it that your wife Ai Takagi who created the content on TRS and admitted to fabricating the articles? The seditious articles were posted on TRS between October 2013 and February 2015.  And from May 2014 to March 2015, TRS received more than 134 million page views in total. This was double that of the preceding year hor.

So actually, you cannot totally say TRS did not fake the fake articles right?

Second, you said that it is unfair to say that you fabricated news just to make money because the website was earning a lot of money already.

EHM, may we suggest that it was precisely because of the kind of articles that TRS put out (don’t know how many article is true or fake) that you were able to earn half a million dollars from TRS every year? The same money that you used to pay off your school fees and buy a house in Australia.

Third, you said that you are remorseful and accepted punishment for not doing diligent checks on the articles on TRS. Well, it is just like how a CEO has to take responsibility even though it is your staff who committed the error and not the CEO right?

We know you really want to move on because you ‘offended the PAP government’ and found your management of TRS a ‘tricky and difficult one’:

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We wish you well and hope you will finally be able to move on from your inner demons.

In the meantime, no one can discount that the articles posted were fake, designed to stroke racial emotions and earn money from the clicks. And unfortunately, that is a good case study for why the Gahmen said a law on deliberate online falsehoods is necessary.