Archived: Alvin, Vivian charged; bail rejected

KUALA LUMPUR: Sex bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee who posted an insensitive Ramadan greeting on their Facebook have been charged with publishing indecent photographs, promoting enmity among the races and for sedition at the Jalan Duta Sessions Court today.

No bail was granted and Tan was sent to the Sungai Buloh Prision while Lee was taken to the Kajang Prison.

The couple were charged under:

a) Section 5 of the Film Censorship Act 2002 for publishing indecent photographs online between July 6 and 7. If found guilty they can be fined not less than RM10,000 or not more than RM50,000 and or imprisoned for not exceeding five years;

b) 298A Penal Code for promoting enmity between different groups of religion or race and doing acts prejudicial to maintaining harmony by publishing an offensive Ramadan greeting which carries a minimum jail term of two years or a maximum of five years; and

c) Section 4(1) (c) of the 1948 Sedition Act for posting seditious material through the offensive greeting which carries fine maximum fine of RM5,000.

Tan, 25, and his girlfriend Lee, 24, enraged the Malaysian society when they posted a Ramadan greeting image of them eating ‘bak kut teh’ (herbal pork soup).

The couple famously known as Alvivi have apologised for their action.

On Monday, the couple was grilled for nine hours by the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission.

Deputy public prosecutors Noorin Badarudin, Ishak Md Yusof and Nadia Ishak appeared for the prosecution and Choong Joo Tian, Wong Kim Ter and Adila Kamarulzaman for the defence team.

During the hearing Noorin and Ishak called for the hearing to be heard together as provided for under Section 170 of the Penal Code.

They argued that the duo should not be granted bail since the offences under the Penal Code was non-bailable. In addition, they pointed that the couple have tendencies to post materials that is disruptive to the society. Choong argued that Tan was unemployed.

Tan, when asked by the court, said he had no access to the Internet because the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission confiscated his computer and Internet facility.

Session Court judge Murtazadi Amran agreed with the prosecution’s argument and ruled that the couple should be kept in detention. The case will be mentioned next on Aug 23.

Last year, the couple courted controversy when they posted their sexual acts and naked photos on a website while being in Singapore.

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