Ai Takagi, 23, from Brisbane, is currently eight weeks pregnant. She was found guilty of four counts of sedition – that is, the act of inciting people to rebel against authority or the state.
It is considered a criminal offence in Singapore to promote hostility between different races or classes of the population. The law can be attributed to the great racial and ethnic diversity of the Singaporean state.
Prosecutors found Takagi had used her popular website, The Real Singapore, to publish the articles.
It was reported the website’s aim was to be a platform for Singaporeans to express their complaints in a place free from censorship.
Takagi was said to have been working for the publication as a writer who also sourced content online and from contributors.
During sentencing, the Brisbane woman apologised to the people of Singapore for the harm she had caused.
“I know that the harmony which Singapore enjoys today requires careful and continuous efforts on the part of everyone, citizens and visitors alike, to maintain,” Takagi told the court, according to the Straits Times.
“I sincerely apologise for the harm I have caused through my actions.”
Tagaki requested that her sentence begin on April 22 so that she could help make arrangements for the ramen noodle stall run by her husband and for his paralysed father.
According to smh.com.au, the sentence is the stiffest to ever be handed down for the offence.
District Judge Salina Ishak said in her sentencing remarks the nature and extent of sedition was taken into account, as well as Takagi’s financial gain, the concealment of identity, the level of blame and the extent of the distribution.
It was heard that bewtween December 2013 and April last year, the website generated almost half a million dollars in advertising revenue.
Tagaki’s husband, Yang Kaiheng, 27, also faces charges of sedition and one of not producing official documents on request.
Yang’s trial is ongoing and will resume next Monday.
It’s been a horrific start to 2016 for Brisbane woman Ai Takagi.