KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — Malaysia’s Internet regulator said today it was reluctant to prosecute a young Malaysian couple for posting their sexual exploits on a blog as it will affect their future.
“If I go after them, it will be a criminal case ... their future will be jeopardised,” Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) Chairman Datuk Sharil Tarmizi told The Malaysian Insider.
“Enough is enough,” he added, referring to the investigation already announced by the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Board of Discipline.
Alvin Tan Jye Yee, a Malaysian NUS law scholarship holder, and his girlfriend Vivian Lee were seen engaged in several sex acts on their “Sumptuous Erotica” website.
It was reported earlier today that the duo faced the possibility of criminal prosecution and jail time if convicted for exhibiting obscene material after they posted photographs and videos of themselves having sex on their blog, which was removed after it went viral in recent days.
Police Commercial Crimes chief Datuk Syed Ismail Syed Azizan said yesterday that the authorities were considering taking action against the duo for violation of obscenity laws.
He said the matter would be referred first to MCMC.
Under section 292 of the Penal Code, the couple could be prosecuted for exhibiting obscene material.
The punishment under the law is imprisonment for a term of up to three years or a fine.
Earlier today, Information, Communications, and Culture Minister Dato Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim was quoted as saying that he will leave it to the public to judge whether the duo’s behaviour is acceptable or not.
“We have legal redress under Section 233 and 263 of the Communications and Multimedia Act. But we would rather not use that first until and unless we get the results of what the Singaporean authorities are pursuing first,” Rais said, after launching the u-Pustaka programme.
He also praised the couple for their swift action in deleting their blog.
“They were rather fast in acting and have blocked the access to the original display. Perhaps in this respect, they thought there was no more abuse under the law.”
In June last year, the “Datuk T” trio of businessman Shazryl Eskay Abdullah, former Perkasa treasurer-general Shuib Lazim and former Malacca chief minister Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik, were charged under the same section of the Penal Code for possessing lewd, obscene or pornographic material in relation to the video which they alleged showed Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim having sex with a prostitute.
The trio pleaded guilty and were subsequently fined. Shazryl Eskay was fined RM3,000 in default of three months’ jail, Shuib was fined RM1,500 fine in default of two months’ jail, and Abdul Rahim was fined RM1,000 in default of a month’s jail.
In their sex blog, Lee, 23, and boyfriend Tan, 24, shared sexually explicit photographs and videos depicting the couple in various states of undress and sex acts. The images vary from artistic portraits of the couple, to close-up shots of their genitalia.
The blog has since been taken down by the pair, leaving only an archived page with thumbnails of their previous posts dating from September 20 up until October 15, but photographs and videos from the blog have since been circulated by exposé site Gutter Uncensored.