TL;DR – So much drama.
Ai Takagi was the former editor of the now defunct website The Real Singapore (TRS). TRS is a contemptible website that Takagi and her husband Yeo Kai Heng started and ran.
It was a fake news website where Takagi and Kai Heng cooked up nonsense to fan anti-foreigner sentiments. They didn’t do any of that out of any sense of justice. They weren’t advocating for anyone’s interests but their own. They weren’t any voice of freedom or righteousness.
No. They did all of that to make money. Yang told an ex-friend he wanted to become a millionaire, and he wanted to buy car, buy bungalow. Yup, the pair did make about A$550,000 before they were charged.
Thankfully, the law eventually caught up with the pair. Ai Takagi was sentenced to 10 months’ jail for sedition. Yeo Kai Heng was also found guilty and sentenced to 8 months’ jail. Now if you thought that you have heard the last of this couple, you would be wrong.
If you recall, Ai Takagi was pregnant when she was convicted and sentenced. If her pregnancy went well, she would have given birth in prison. Unfortunately, she suffered a miscarriage. For some strange reasons, Tan Kin Lian, former Presidential candidate, thought that Ai Takagi suffered the miscarriage while in prison.
“I asked her (Ai Takagi) about her baby. She lost the baby while in prison. I was very sad. How deplorable. Surely the prison authority has the responsibility to provide proper care as a pregnant mother in jail.”
How did Tan come under the impression that Ai Takagi lost the baby while in prison? Did she tell him? Or did he simply assume? Why was he so quick to blame the prison? Because it certainly MUST be the terribly slack and irresponsible prison officers who failed in their duty of care that resulted in Ai Takagi losing the baby, right? Who else could be at fault, right?
And, as expected, this post drew comments expressing anger against the prison service. Comments such as this:
Other comments asked why no politicians spoke out against the treatment she received:
And it’s not just Tan Kin Lian who had expressed unhappiness about Ai Takagi’s miscarriage. Even opposition politician Goh Meng Seng did so too:
Can that be true? Ai Takagi suffered a miscarriage in prison and no one said anything until now? No statement from the prison service? No MP spoke up for the poor young lady? That’s right. There wasn’t any statements from the prison about this. No MP spoke up for Ai Takagi. You know why?
Because she didn’t suffer a miscarriage in prison. Reporters from the Channel 8 news contacted Ai Takagi. And this is what she said:
“I’ve not been following news online recently, so I didn’t know that such ‘news’ have been circulating. But I think there might have been some misunderstanding, because I didn’t suffer a miscarriage while in prison. I suffered a miscarriage at least a week before I started serving my sentence.”
That’s right. Tan Kin Lian, Goh Meng Seng, and all those people so filled with righteous fury are all wrong. The prison service had nothing to do with Ai Takagi’s miscarriage. Now that we know what really happened, perhaps those who were spreading falsehoods should admit that they were wrong.
But nope. They didn’t. Goh just quietly deleted his post. To Tan’s credit, he did update his post:
But he stopped short of apologising. In fact, he still didn’t unequivocally admit that he was wrong.
What about the other people who have been baying for blood, cursing the prison service? None of them came out to retract their statements, none of them apologised for blaming the prison service for something they weren’t responsible for. They were simply silent. Deafening silence.
I hope we would take this as yet another lesson that we shouldn’t lap up anything and everything we read online. These days, fake news and rumours dominate social media. That’s why we should approach everything we read on social media, whether they are pro- or anti-establishment, with a healthy dose of skepticism. Question everything. Look for other sources of information to corroborate what we read. And when it turns out we are wrong, just admit it frankly as soon as possible.