KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 — Sex blogger Alvin Tan’s mother has reportedly been summoned for questioning by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), on the heels of her son’s controversial Ramadan video that sparked a cyberstorm recently.
However, it is unclear what she may be hauled in for, as the online regulator has refused to confirm the summons.
“As of now I’ve not heard anything,” MCMC’s strategic communications advisor, Sheikh Raffie Abdul Rahman, told The Malay Mail Online when contacted.
“No comments,” he added.
News portal The Malaysian Insider had reported Tan’s lawyer, Chong Joo Tian, saying he had received a phone call from an unnamed MCMC official who wanted to record the mother’s statement, but did not give an explanation.
“MCMC called my office and said they wanted to take a statement from Alvin’s mum.
“To avoid a scene and to stop them from going to her house and taking her in, I have told them that I will take her to MCMC on Monday morning,” Chong was quoted as saying, adding that the regulator had also issued a summons notice.
Tan, 25, and his girlfriend Vivian Lee, 24, had stirred up a hornet’s nest last month 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 pork soup dish as “wangi, enak, menyelerakan” (fragrant, delicious, appetising).
The picture also included a “Halal” logo, although the consumption of pork is forbidden to Muslims.
Better known as “Alvivi”, a contraction of their two first names, the couple were hauled in for questioning by the MCMC, and were slapped with three counts under the Sedition Act, the Film Censorship Act and the Penal Code, not just for their Ramadan video but for a previous offence of posting pornographic images on the Internet.
They claimed trial to the charges on July 18 and were jailed for about a week after they were denied bail.
The public prosecutor argued that setting setting them free would inspire them to repeat their offences.
The bail denial drew condemnation from opposition lawmakers and civil society leaders who accused the government of selective prosecution.
They argued that while swift and stern action was taken on “Alvivi”, the same treatment had not been accorded on others guilty of past racial slurs, like Perkasa’s Datuk Ibrahim Ali and Datuk Zulkifli Noordin.
The couple were released on bail on July 26.