News of the arrest of two of the three people behind The Real Singapore (TRS), a local socio-political website with user-generated content, has received more cheers than jeers online.
Here are some of the responses on Twitter:
@kixes the only surprising thing about this is the number of singaporeans willing to read their drivel— AdamRebellum (@AdamRebellum) February 17, 2015
THEY ARE GONE WOOHOOO!@thenewpaper: JUST IN - Two of the three people behind The Real Singapore have been arrested for sedition— Ashok Kumar (@zomgitsashok) February 17, 2015
Media reports initially said that two people behind the website — Robin Yang, 26, a Singaporean man and Ai Takagi, 22, a Japanese-Australian woman — have been arrested for sedition.
Under the Sedition Act, anyone guilty of promoting feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of Singapore can be fined up to S$5,000, jailed up to three years, or both.
Police have, according to reports, confirmed the arrests of a Singaporean man and an Australian woman. They were arrested on 6 February 2015 under the Sedition Act and police investigations are ongoing.
However, TRS, in a statement issued on its website on Wednesday, said only one editor behind the website has been called up for investigations by the police. This editor was called up together with “about 4 others in relation to an article about the Thaipusam incident which was an article compiled based on various witness accounts".
The article in question is, The New Paper reported, one which was published on 4 February 2015. The TRS piece had claimed that a Filipino family had sparked an incident at a Thaipusam procession on 3 February. This then, the article said, led to three Singaporean men being arrested on 3 February.
It was later revealed, upon police investigation, that there was no Filipino family involved in the incident.
“Investigations are centering around only this 1 article and all other contributors and other articles are currently not being probed,” TRS added in its statement.
TRS also said that they will be releasing a full story regarding this incident and will explain the situation.
“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,” it added.
(Additional reporting by Justin Ong)