PETALING JAYA, July 18 — Controversial bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee were today denied bail following charges brought against them over a provocative Ramadan greeting on Facebook and their sex video acts posted on the Internet last year.
Tan will be held at the Sungai Buloh Prison while Lee is to be housed at the Kajang Prison pending trial.
The duo earlier claimed trial at the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur to three separate charges under the Sedition Act, the Film Censorship Act, and the Penal Code.
Arguing earlier for the duo to be denied bail, prosecutors said there was a danger that they would repeat their actions if allowed to go free.
Both insisted they had no inclination to do so, while their lawyer further insisted that to deny them bail would be “punitive”.
Tan further said all his computers have since been seized by the authorities.
After a brief recess, judge Murtazadi Amran declined bail for both defendants.
Better known as “Alvivi”, a contraction of their two first names, 25-year-old Tan and Lee, 24, had stirred up a hornet’s nest last week when they posted a mock “Selamat Berbuka Puasa” (breaking of fast) greeting on their Facebook page that showed them eating “bak kut teh”, and describing the soupy pork dish as “wangi, enak, menyelerakan” (fragrant, delicious, appetising).
The picture also included a “Halal” logo, although the consumption of pork is forbidden to Muslims.
They were hauled in for questioning by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) last week, released and picked up again by the police this morning for displaying the picture deemed offensive to Muslims.
But the swift action of the authorities towards the couple’s post barely a week ago drew Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers yesterday to note the contrasting lack of action against far-right group Perkasa’s Datuk Ibrahim Ali over threats to burn copies of the Malay-language bibles in January and his deputy, Datuk Zulkifli Noordin, for videos in which he appeared to mock Hindus.
The couple had first courted controversy over the videos and photographs of their sexual exploits that had been posted on a now-defunct blog.
MORE TO COME