FORMER NUS FT SCHOLAR ALVIVI DEFEATS “BAK KUT TEH” CHARGES

Alvivi defeats one ‘Bak kut teh’ video charge, court says not applicable to non-Muslims

KUALA LUMPUR, April 21 — Former sex bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee won a legal victory this morning when they succeeded in getting a charge of causing religious hostility stemming from a mock Ramadhan video last year dismissed.

According to The Star on its website today, the Court of Appeal ruled that Section 298A of the Penal Code was not applicable to the duo who goes by the contraction “Alvivi” as they were non-Muslims.

The ruling was made by a three-man bench headed by Mohtarudin Baki, along with Rohana Yusof and Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat.

Section 298A includes a variety of offences, namely causing “disharmony, disunity, or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will, or prejudicing, etc, the maintenance of harmony or unity, on grounds of religion.”

The duo’s lawyer, Chong Joo Tian, had previously applied for the charge to be struck out on the argument that a 1988 Supreme Court ruling decided that the section specifically pertained to the control and practice of Islam.

Tan and Lee still face a charge under Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act for publishing a seditious photograph and the words “Selamat Berbuka Puasa” (dengan Bak Kut Teh…wangi, enak, menyelerakan!) [Happy breaking fast with bak kut teh…fragrant, delicious, appetising]” on their Facebook page on July 11 that also showed a halal logo.

They are also in the dock for a second remaining charge under subsection 5(1) of the Film Censorship Act 2002 for displaying pornographic images on their blog, alviviswingers.tumblr.com, between July 6 and July 7.

The two were charged for all three offences on July 18 last year.

The couple had first courted controversy over the videos and photographs of their sexual exploits that had been posted on a now-defunct blog.

The blog is now defunct, but their Facebook page, Alvin and Vivian ― Alvivi, remains active.

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