- Yap Hon Ngian (William) was 40 and working with the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) when he was detained in 1987.
- While studying and working in London in the 1970s, William was active in Malaysian and Singapore Students Movement (MASS Movement) and Malaysian and Singapore Students Association in London (MASSAL).
- After returning in 1981, he worked as a translator, interpreter and editor while keeping himself abreast of the developing social and political scenes in Singapore. Then, he did not know many of his fellow detainees, but they turned out to be some of his very close friends after the detention.
- Freelance translator and editor.