TRS couple running ramen stalls at NUS

Singaporean student Yang Kaiheng, 26, and his Japanese- Australian girlfriend Ai Takagi, 22, a law student at the University of Queensland, were charged in April with seven counts of sedition.
Singaporean student Yang Kaiheng, 26, and his Japanese- Australian girlfriend Ai Takagi, 22, a law student at the University of Queensland, were charged in April with seven counts of sedition.ST FILE PHOTO

The two editors of former socio-political website The Real Singapore (TRS) are back in business - this time in the food and beverage industry.

The Straits Times understands that Yang Kaiheng, 26, and Ai Takagi, 22, are running ramen stalls in two National University of Singapore (NUS) foodcourts.

Named the Takagi Ramen Shop, both stalls opened at the end of August in the canteens of Prince George's Park Residences and the Bukit Timah Campus of NUS, near the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Ms Kweh Leng Kiam, managing director of Pines Food Delight, which manages both foodcourts, said that Yang's mother approached the company to rent the spaces at the end of June.

"I was told (Takagi's) family owned a chain of ramen shops in Australia," Ms Kweh, 48, told The Straits Times.

"After trying their ramen, I was impressed by the taste and quality of the ingredients that they used, and decided to give them the contract. It was only afterwards that I found out about their background, but it is not a problem for me. They are making an honest living at the moment."

Ms Kweh added that Takagi does not work there, but visits occasionally. Yang and his mother are in charge of running the business.

Neither Yang nor Takagi were at the stall, and an employee, who did not want to be named, said that the owners cannot be contacted as they are overseas.

Yang, a Singaporean student, and his fiancee Takagi, a Japanese-Australian law student at the University of Queensland, were charged in April with seven counts of sedition for publishing articles that allegedly promoted ill will and hostility between difference races or classes in Singapore.

The maximum punishment under the Sedition Act is a $5,000 fine and three years' jail on each charge. The next pre-trial conference for the couple's case is scheduled for Oct 1.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 18, 2015, with the headline 'TRS couple running ramen stalls at NUS'. Print Edition | Subscribe