TRS duo still not allowed to leave S'pore
The duo allegedly behind The Real Singapore (TRS) were back at the Criminal Investigation Department yesterday.
The two weeks’ bail for Miss Ai Takagi, a Japanese-Australian, and Mr Robin Yang Kaiheng had expired.
But if the pair were hoping to return to their Brisbane apartment for their new university term, they were disappointed.
The New Paper understands that the students at the University of Queensland had their bail extended and their application to return to Australia rejected.
The couple again declined to speak to TNP but a relative, believed to be Mr Yang’s father, spoke briefly.
The man, who stood at the foyer of the building while the two were inside, said cryptically: “Everybody has his own opinion.”
Miss Takagi, 22, and Mr Yang, 26, are accused of embellishing a post on TRS.
TNP reported the duo’s arrest in February and it was picked up by Japanese and Australian media.
An Australian law professor said the same post would likely have been deemed a crime in Australia too.
“The law says as long as somebody in Australia feels a public posting offends, insults, intimidates or humiliates a person because of their ethnicity, sex, disability or age, then there may be grounds for an investigation,” said Mr Michael Crowley, senior lecturer at Edith Cowan University’s School of Law and Justice.
And public postings include those on the Internet.
Australian Hate Speech laws apply even when the inciting of hatred is done abroad.
“For as long as the comment incites hate and an Australian is offended by the comment, then yes, a complaint — which may lead to legal action — can be made.”
Cyber racism is classified as an act of racism under the Racial Discrimination Act, a legislation introduced in 1975.
Mr Crowley said: “If there are grounds to pursue the matter, a conciliation via the Australian Human Rights Commission could be the first resolution point. Otherwise, it can escalate to the courts.”
But if action is taken in Singapore, they cannot face double jeopardy, he said.
There has been much speculation online about how much TRS makes with its social media platform and website.
TNP learned that Miss Takagi recently bought an apartment in Brisbane.
Until their arrest, they operated anonymously and looked to be beyond the long arm of the law.