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    Jun 29, 2016

    8 months' jail for TRS co-founder

    YANG Kaiheng, the key person behind The Real Singapore website, was yesterday sentenced to eight months' jail.

    The 27-year-old Singaporean had, on Friday, admitted to deliberately sowing discord between Singaporeans and foreigners through a series of articles on the socio-political website that he had started with his Australian-Japanese wife and a friend.

    He pleaded guilty to six counts of sedition on Friday after seven days of trial. Two other charges were taken

    into consideration.

    District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt said Yang had exploited feelings of nationalism for

    financial gain.

    He warned that nationalism can degenerate quickly into xenophobia, racism, intolerance and violence.

    "At the heart of this case against the accused lies the exploitation of such feelings purely for financial gain and not for some noble ideology, misguided or otherwise," he added.

    Facts of the case presented by the prosecution on Friday showed that Yang had controlled the bulk of about A$550,000 (S$551,000) in advertising revenue the website made from December 2012 to

    April last year.

    The bulk of the site's earnings went to paying for an apartment he bought jointly with his wife, Ai Takagi, as well as his tuition fees at the University of Queensland in Australia.

    Takagi, 23, had pleaded guilty from the start.

    She was sentenced to 10 months in jail, and started serving her term in April.

    The maximum punishment under the Sedition Act is a $5,000 fine and three years'

    jail on each charge.