The police have confirmed that two people – a 26-year-old Singaporean Chinese man and a 22-year-old Australian woman – were arrested on Feb 6 under the Sedition Act, contrary to claims by The Real Singapore that “only one editor” had been called in for investigations.
The two are out on bail, the Police said in response to Channel NewsAsia queries.
The pair were arrested for posting remarks online “that could promote ill-will and hostility among the different races in Singapore”, the Police said.
It added: “The Police take a stern view of acts that could threaten social harmony in Singapore. Any person who posts remarks online that could cause ill-will and hostility between the different races or communities in Singapore will be dealt with in accordance with the law.”
Following a report in The New Paper in which the two were named and their photographs published, The Real Singapore claimed in an editorial posted on Feb 18 (Wednesday) that “only one editor is actually involved in investigations”.
The website also claimed that “much of the information (in The New Paper’s Feb 18 report) is false and several points are also defamatory … We understand that no formal charges have been made at this time and those involved in investigations, many of whom are not actually even involved in our website at all, are cooperating with Police to clear this up as soon as possible”.
The editor was “cooperating fully with the police”, The Real Singapore said in an earlier editorial, adding that only one article was being probed.
“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.”
Under the Sedition Act, anyone found guilty of promoting feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races is liable, on conviction of a first offence, to a fine of up to S$5,000 or prison term of up to three years, or to both.