Editor of sociopolitical website The Real Singapore under investigation over Thaipusam article

The Real Singapore website is believed to be run by a Singaporean and two foreigners based in Australia. All three are students at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. -- PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM THEREALSINGAPORE.COM
The Real Singapore website is believed to be run by a Singaporean and two foreigners based in Australia. All three are students at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. -- PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM THEREALSINGAPORE.COM

SINGAPORE - An editor from The Real Singapore (TRS) is being investigated by the police for sedition, the sociopolitical website said on Wednesday.

The investigation concerns "an article about the Thaipusam Incident", the site said in a statement.

A 26-year-old Singaporean man and a 22-year-old Australian woman were arrested on Feb 6 under the Sedition Act, police said in a statement.

They are believed to be the Japanese-Australian administrator of the site Ai Takagi, and her Singaporean boyfriend Robin Yang Kai Heng, The New Paper reported.

The police had received reports on Feb 5 about an insensitive article that was posted online. The two were nabbed for posting remarks online that could cause ill will and hostility between different races and communities in Singapore, police said.

The police will investigate and take firm action against those who incite enmity with rumours over the Thaipusam procession, the Ministry of Home Affairs had said on Feb 13.

TRS said that only one editor was being investigated “along with about four others”, and that she was co-operating with the police.

TRS published an article on Feb 4 about the Thaipusam procession that said a Filipino family told the police “to make the people stop playing the urumi”. The urumi is an Indian drum.

The article, contributed by a TRS reader, linked this incident to a scuffle that broke out during the procession on Feb 3. Three men have been arrested for disorderly behaviour and assaulting a police officer at the event.

“Some time in the future, we will be publishing a full story and explain clearly everything that we can share. This may also include how we work and who is behind the website but currently, as investigations are ongoing, such a full response would be inappropriate,” TRS said in the statement published online at 12.50am.

Under the Sedition Act, anyone found guilty of promoting feelings of ill will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Singapore shall be liable, on conviction for a first offence, to a fine of up to $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term of up to three years, or to both.