Takagi Ramen Co-Founder Alleged He Was Discriminated By Ministry Of Food Due To His Past As Ex-Convict

Takagi Ramen Co-Founder Claims $16,000 Deposit Has Not Been Returned 3 Weeks After Terms Were Not Met

After being released from prison, most ex-convicts want to leave their past behind and focus on the greener pastures filled with opportunities ahead.

Mr Yang Kaiheng, an ex-convict who happens to be the co-founder of Takagi Ramen – a popular ramen chain in Singapore – however, felt he was discriminated against due to his past records.


On Wednesday (29 Jan) night, Mr Yang took to Facebook after he allegedly received a discriminatory email from a senior employee at Ministry of Food.

You can read the Facebook post in full. Be warned, it’s pretty long.

Takagi Ramen co-founder paid $16,000 goodwill deposit to Ministry of Food

According to the post, Mr Yang wanted to rent a space at Clementi Mall last Dec. He submitted a letter of intent (LOI), as well as a $16,000 goodwill deposit cheque to Ministry of Food (MOF) — the master tenant.


He alleged that MOF accepted the letter and banked in the cheque, but was later unable to accede to the terms in the LOI.

Since this was the case, Mr Yang claims MOF should have immediately refunded the goodwill deposit, according to terms stipulated in the LOI.

However, MOF allegedly delayed the refund, and repeatedly missed deadlines.

After missing 3 deadlines over the span of 3 weeks, Mr Yang was presumably upset and lodged a police report, demanding the money to be returned.


Instead of refunding the sum, the MOF representative apparently wrote a “scathing email”, which Mr Yang claims to have labelled him as a “serial liar”, and “suggested that ex-cons are incapable of changing”.

Here’s a short paragraph from the long email. You can read it in full here.


Mr Yang also claims that the MOF representative had sent the email to the landlord of the mall, who also owns other mall spaces that he intends to expand to in the future.

Jailed for 8 months after pleading guilty to sedition

Back in 2016, Mr Yang – the “key person” running The Real Singapore website – was sentenced to 8 months’ jail after pleading guilty to sedition, deliberately sowing discord between Singaporeans and foreigners.

His wife, who was an editor of the website, was also found guilty for lifting content from Singapore Press Holdings (SPH).

She reached an agreement with the publication under confidential terms, which included payment, and an apology published on The Straits Times.

In his post, Mr Yang claims that he has already served time for his past transgressions, and has since turned over a new leaf.

In fact, while the previous version of the page has been taken down, Mr Yang shared that it has been ‘revived’. Now named The Royal Singapore, the new page focuses on sharing “motivational and inspiring stories of average Singaporeans”.


Urges other ex-convicts to treat discrimination as “positive challenges”

In ending his post, Mr Yang claims that he was “cut deep” by the email and that it was the first time he had faced such overt discrimination against him.

To make matters worse, Mr Yang claims he hasn’t received the goodwill deposit back from MOF.

He urged fellow ex-convicts to treat such instances of discrimination as “positive challenges”, saying that,

Each hurdle we overcome is another testament to our determination to lead a better life.

Hope Mr Yang & MOF will reach an amicable understanding

In response to MS News queries, MOF denies the allegation made in the Facebook post and is currently seeking legal advice.

Whatever the case, we hope Mr Yang and MOF will reach an amicable agreement in due time.

Featured image adapted from Eatbook and fujisansgp.blogspot.

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