Sex blog causes outrage in Singapore and Malaysia
SINGAPORE - Agence France Presse
The Associated Press photoA young Malaysian couple have sparked a scandal in Singapore and Malaysia after posting a sexually explicit blog that challenges conservative values in both countries.
Alvin Tan, 24, a law student at the National University of Singapore (NUS), and his Malaysian girlfriend Vivian Lee, 23, have been denounced by critics over their X-rated blog called "Sumptuous Erotica".
In it the couple posted erotic photographs and videos of their lovemaking as well as close-ups of their genitals -- and despite an outcry remained unrepentant, claiming they had done no wrong.
Pornography is illegal in Singapore and Malaysia, with even men's magazines like Playboy and Penthouse banned.
In the blog, which went offline Tuesday -- but not before some images had been posted on other websites -- the couple declared that sex is a natural reproductive process that does not deserve the stigma attached to it.
The NUS confirmed Friday that it will question Tan at a disciplinary board hearing, with Singaporean netizens demanding his expulsion from the university and the cancellation of his government-funded scholarship.
"The University does not condone posting of offensive content online by any member of the NUS community," a spokesperson told AFP.
Singapore's education ministry, which administers scholarships, said in a statement emailed to AFP that it "takes a serious view of the conduct of the student concerned", and also branded the blog offensive.
Senior Malaysian officials have also waded into the fray after the blog became a hot issue in the country's media.
Information Minister Rais Yatim said Malaysia has "legal redress" under the Communications and Multimedia Act, which governs Internet content in the country.
"But we would rather not use that first until and unless we get the results of what the Singaporean authorities are pursuing first," Rais was quoted as saying by the Star newspaper.
In Singapore, government officials have not issued any comment but social media sites were filled with calls to revoke Tan's scholarship.
"NUS, pls expel the kid and someone pls revoke his scholarship. This is not the kind of things we want to promote in (Singapore) and definitely, we should discourage it," Yvonne Wong posted on Facebook.
Viewers who try to access the blog are now being asked to submit their names and email addresses if they want updates from the couple.
In a video posted on YouTube, Tan and Lee, both fully dressed, explained their decision to take the blog offline.
"We actually shut down the blog because of family pressure," Lee said.
Tan added: "Yes, we will continue doing what we love doing. But it's more of a question of timing. We probably won't continue again so soon from now."