Disclaimer: Some adult thoughts ahead.
Update: I highlighted some legal issues in my Law blog.
A cross-border international scandal involving a couple of young Malaysians seem to have erupted in our prim and proper neighbour, Singapore.
In it, stars two very young people – Alvin Tan Jye Yee, a Law student in the National University of Singapore, and an ASEAN scholar; Vivian Lee – his girlfriend, a Malaysian. There doesn’t seem to be very much to say about these two, since they are still so young after all.
The scandal involves a couple of single consenting adults having sex, which thankfully nobody is throwing the morality hammer at yet. The issue at hand is that they actually posted their exploits graphically, online, in a public blog, for the view of all and sundry.
Both people have been interviewed and they both defended their right to continue doing whatever it is that they were doing. Twitter is ablaze with various parties commenting on this.
Nobody really cares about what I have to say but I shall say this.
Those people who think that they are wrong to post their sexual exploits on-line, are walking down a very slippery slope. Regardless of whether we think that what they are engaging in is right or wrong, the main issue at hand is why this has turned out to be such a scandal.
The primary issue that I am concerned with is freedom of speech.
I believe that they have every damn right to do whatever they want to do and to even publish it online for the world to see. The key thing here is that they never did force anyone to actually go view it. Nobody can accidentally stumble upon their content either. Therefore, there is no compulsion from their part for anyone to view it.
Also, they have not gone out to offend anybody’s sensitivities. If your sensitivity is offended by viewing such things – who the hell asked you to go view it in the first place? And if you have viewed it and are offended, the only person that you have to blame for it is yourself. If you need to ritually cleanse your eye-balls after that, it’s your own fault.
I don’t see the difference between this form of freedom of expression and another highly controversial form of freedom of expression – political speech. If these two had been blogging as Locke and Demosthenes, we would probably see things differently. However, there is essentially no difference between the two.
What is more private than a person’s innermost thoughts that are published online? That is how the whole blogging trend started – when some people decided to use the web to keep a log or journal of their private lives. This thing is just a natural progression of that trend.
If we think that they should be censured for publishing their private acts publicly, we should also go around censuring anyone else publishing photos of themselves eating dinner (I know that Malaysians love food). Honestly, what someone chooses to shove down their alimentary tract is private too.
How about photos of them sleeping in their beds?
Honestly speaking, these two have brought no greater harm onto our nation or society as a whole that has not already been done by someone else.
If there is one thing that needs to be blamed for this whole issue, I would put the blame squarely on our voyeuristic culture. We have become a voyeuristic society globally. This is what Youtube has done to us across the world. We’re constantly pushing for more interesting content as our attention spans drop to that of a 3-year old’s. It’s our fault that these two decided to feed that demand.
Personally, I do hope that they keep doing what it is that they are doing – as long as they are mature enough to understand that every action has its consequences. They need to know that there are many out there who would not look on their acts as liberally as I do and may choose to act on that. Also, there may be legal consequences of their actions such as public indecency Laws (archaic), etc.
As for the whole legal mess that this creates, I have no idea how anyone is going to solve it. If they broke some S’porean/M’sian Law, can they be successfully prosecuted for either of it? Jurisdiction is going to be a bitch. That’s a question that I leave to the courts to decide.
- Msian Student’s Sex Blog Could Land Him In Trouble In Singapore (mydestiny2011.com)
- Sliming Alvin Tan: Non-news and moral guardianship (surfingbutterfly.wordpress.com)
41 thoughts on “Sumptuous Erotica”
Hey..what they did is like selling their bodies?What’s worse is that, young children already view the internet,so such actions are not acceptable…They should keep their sexual encounters private,you know..Yes, everyone has a freedom of speech…But even if you have freedom, you should also know the limitations..The couple have abused their freedom of speech. Sooner or later the worse consequences will happen….
Wah, how did u make the leap from posting nude photos to prostitution? That’s just silly.
And please do not bring children into the issue to confuse it. No children were involved in the production.
If it is not acceptable to you, don’t go looking for it.
Freedom of speech subject to limitations – whose limitations? Yours? That’s why I said it’s a slippery slope.
Shot in Malaysia, showed in Singapore … jurisdiction in limbo …. gud case study.
internet is for porn
80% what people looking for on internet was porn.
I’m not sure if it’s 80%.
Then those people are perverts!! but if they do it on their own time and place, it’s their proarkative
Oops, was meant to reply to Mirka’s comment, not you Shawn.
what about all the porn in US? and all the blog from there you can access? must they all be arrested by malaysian government because people here can see it? government does not block all porn sites and even there are ways around this. So? if its your own belief that you cannot watch porn then don;t go look for it. And you should respect other peoples beliefs because we all do not follow the same religion or beliefs and have the freedom to do so. You want to force your islamic beliefs on others? well then you are breaking your own code of conduct which is clearly stated in the quran. That you MUST respect other religion. That you CANNOT force someone to be muslim or FORCE them to follow your law. If your already muslim and make porn well then sure you signed yourself up to be punished. But for the rest of the other people in the world, porn is not a punishable offense so deal with it nazi or you shall fall as they did.
I think that u’re taking this out of context and missing the local sub-text. Religion isn’t the issue here. 🙂
Right on Shawn 🙂
I must say i agree with you. Even though it is wrong to post such things on the internet, it is still their rights. I believe there’s no law or acts saying that we can’t post or share any nude photos of ourselves in our blog. I guess people get so offended because Malaysia and Singapore are quite known as countries that embrace their Asia’s value (though i think people just exaggerates it when the fact is most people these days -married or not- has gone too far with their sex life be it Singaporeans or Malaysians itself). And of course, the person whoever brought up this case in the first place is the most hypocrite person ever if you know what i mean. Seriously? Come on.. If already knew the content of the blog, why still took the time to view it right? Curiosity killed the cat. But hey, hypocrisy runs in everyone’s blood eh? Yet, if i were the couple, i will never post anything about my sex life or brag about it in my blog.. That is like waving ‘hello’ to problems.. Ngeh!!
I should point out that they’ve actually broken a host of Laws, both in Malaysia and Singapore. I wrote about them briefly in my other Law blog. Feel free to check it out.
I would if I look like Angelina Jolie, lolz
Of course they have broken laws; even in the States, Alvin and partner will be hauled up. Alvin needs to see a shrink badly. Otherwise he will land up in the hospital soon.
god made men and women,to multiply and be pairs and even fruitful.
I’d rather leave religion out of this discussion.
but still is wrong,when they publish their photo,becos internet is a danger to temptations.and tools of evils also.nobody can deny that.but depends on how you see as,or use for.privacy,secerts will still be known and come back to haunt you.
Again, I’d rather leave Good and Evil out of the discussion.
if every 3gp local amature porn stars in Malaysia (if u know what I mean) were to apologize publicly, there wouldn’t be enough time to air the freaking news. Its the hype. The public is giving exactly what Alvin and Vivian wants. The publicity. Making them famous. He’d said it himself, he’s doing this to be famous. Why don’t the public just treat this as some porn site pop-ups and click on the exit button? Coz you know by clicking enter, a viral hell will be unleashed on to the PC. Same rule applies. Leave this shit as it is and it’ll just be another desperate couple being… DESPERATE. peace.
I read that this couple needs sex treatment because they are mentally unsound due to their decision to post their sexual exploits on-line. Their exhibitionism is unhealthy and can lead them to depression.
Obviously the one who said that didn’t study psychology. There are all kinds of sexual behavior and one of them is exhibitionism. Like one of the comments above, those who are really saying bad things about this issue are really hypocrites because we all know that there are a lot of Malaysian couples (Muslim, non-Muslim, Malays, non-Malays and everything else in between) are having premarital sex. Heck, some of them are even school kids in school uniforms, bonking away in public parks.
So why does this issue come as such a surprise?
Just because they like to show off their sexual prowess for all to see makes them immoral? Maybe. But that doesn’t make them sick. That doesn’t make them less human because everyone has their own fetishes, whether one admits it or not.
All I can think of when I read about this issues is – Malaysians should stop living in denial.
Right on sister!
Shawn, using your argument that the fundamental issue here is “freedom of expression” then every comment here, whether negative or positive, is kosher. That everybody has a “right” to express their disgust or support for these two misguided individuals.
My take on the matter is just this. The real issue is one of public opinion. Currently, going by the various comments, this is a behaviour NOT tolerated in both the Singapore and Malaysian societies. How did i come to this conclusion? Well, they have taken down their blogsite for one. And the comments that support their behaviour is in the minority, for another.And thank god for that!! (sorry to bring in God, at this juncture, but hey, remember Freedom OF EXPRESSION?)
I honestly think that everyone is entitled to express their opinions on the matter – even bring in God if that’s their cup of tea. That said, right or wrong isn’t the issue at hand.
Freedom of speech is a slippery slope as you said as limitations is subjective. Other side of the coin, the existence of this freedom is slippery, or rather abstract as well. We assume that is is wrong to impose our limitations on others; but whats even worse is to assume such freedom exists. If we assume it exists, it cannot exist without borders. the question begets then, is freedom of speech even a good justification. It can, and will only be if there is a universally recognized standard. e.g. we may think posting nudity is fine on the internet. But in the name of freedom of speech, could i shove up the universal hand language at the driver who overtook my car. surely the same ppl who think nudity is find, will find this incomprehensible. but again, why not? freedom of speech and express need no justification. in fact, i can just poke out my finger now. :”D. personally, the argument on freedom of speech cannot be justified. simply because we humans are a conniving bunch of hopeless people; we tend to justify our actions.
You’re of course free to do whatever you want, as long as you do realise that every action has consequence and you’re willing to accept the consequences. What I’m not happy about is when someone else imposes what their idea of ‘limits’ are on others.
What is very dangerous is if you tell me that something is not acceptable to you, and expect me to follow your rules.
There is a flaw in your argument. You seem to want to divorce value judgements, ie, right and wrong, good vs evil from this discussion. I really don’t know what is the value of freedom of expression if it is divorced from a value judgement.
In reality, we make value judgements all the time concerning the food we eat, the books we read, the movies we watch. Why should the behaviour of people be exempt from a value judgement?
You seem to champion the freedom of expression of these two misguided individuals. But what kind of expression are these two providing? Will their expressions change society for the better? are they role models that we need to emulate? If someone uses abusive language, can the public at large, give the opinion that this is bad (a value judgement) or should we, as you seem to be maintaining, not even say it is bad.
The case i am putting forth is that freedom of expression need to have the value judgements that will shape public opinion or perception. There there will be enough people in our society who can stand up and say that what they are doing is crap. I am not against them expressing whatever they want to express, and in the same manner, i should be able to say this is crappy behaviour. Because i understand in every society there is a lunatic fringe that will go against the norm. And if there are many people like me, the public opinion will form that what these two twits did is bad.
The real danger, is NOT the lack of freedom of expression; it is the inabilty to distinguish the difference between what is a worthy expression and what is a useless expression.
That’s the point.
It’s extremely dangerous to impose values, because your values and mine are totally different. I’m not a saint, so I don’t judge. If they want to do what they do, so be it. As long as they understand that all actions have consequences. As to whether what they do is right or wrong, that’s very subjective.
The issue of whether it is a worthy expression should be up to the person receiving the expression, not you nor I.
That is what I don’t get. They harm nobody, they enjoy whatever it was they were doing, and they are consenting adults. Whether what they did was morally bad in the eyes of some people or not, it does not matter. If you don’t agree to it, walk away from it. If you don’t like what they do, stop going to their blog and ignore them. If you think they are being stupid, try to reason with them and if neither of you see eye-to-eye, just agree to disagree.
What people mostly don’t want to understand is this: while it is your right to have opinions, it is the right of others’ to have theirs too.
1. Anything or everything that is published is subject to fair comment. That’s the principle. The Sumptuous Twits published. So now the whole world comments. If you don’t want our comments, DONT publish. (not the other way round, ie, if our sensitivities are hurt, then don’t see /comment.)
2. The bulk of comments fall into 3 categories, ie,
a. The Liberals — the comments typically are in the nature of , “what you are doing rocks”, “cool” etc and buck current trends
b. The Conservatives — the comments typically rely on religion, ethics, morals, logic etc and value judgements are made based on these
c. The Stick Head in the Sand – typically the comments say, “its none on my business and its none of yours”
3. Regardless of where you fall in the above categories, they ALL represent fair comment. (You cannot claim to have Freedom of Expression and then say my comment should NOT be based on the critieria of right and wrong)
4. And finally, this discussion is NOT about imposing our values on others. If we say that everytime i comment on your behaviour, i am imposing my values on you? does it mean that you don’t have a choice? I could turn the argument around and say the same thing by saying that everytime you do something, you are imposing your values on me. That’s ridiculous.
Dude. Read the comment again. I think you’re misreading it.
But anyway, commenting on your 4th point – commenting isn’t imposing value on others, judging is. 🙂
When we view anything, we’re looking it through our individual lens, with our own individual values. Then, we make a judgement based on those values. That’s when we have to question ourselves if we should be making that judgement. It’s not ridiculous at all.
Reread some of the posts here- you are not the only one posting comments here. And while you are it , just check what the word ‘impose’ means. A dictionary meaning is helpful
Lots of meaning, from something as benign as taking up someone else’s time/attention, to forcing acceptance.
Akbar, it seems like your mind is really obsessed with this “couple”, and it makes me jump into conclusions that :
1) This couple reminds you of someone or maybe YOU yourself have been through & done the same things as well???
2) Your child has actually viewed the blog???
Sorry for offending, & I don’t even know if you are a parent but i just don’t see the point of being so emotional in your comments.
Well I’m thinking that this couple’s blog is NOT a new thing in this whole entire world.
You may just simply Google “homemade porn” and there are THOUSANDS of free videos/blogs/sites from around the whole world.
If you say that kids these days might view it… just think…WHAT’S the use of internet webpage blocking for??? Parents SHOULD keep track of their child’s web activity & block whatever websites that are not meant for their age.
It IS the PARENT’S responsibility if the child has viewed any porn sites etc. Now don’t you argue back on me regarding this.
Unless the parent has underestimated the cleverness of their 21st century child, ((( that kind of parent sounds like a very stupid person))) I believe that sharing this blog is not in any way a bad influence to kids, provided that the parent creates curfews & gives proper education & proper upbringing.
If you think that the blog is AGAINST your religion, remember, there is NOT ONLY ONE religion here in Malaysia, there are even FREE THINKERS out there, and there’s absolutely NOTHING you can do to stop them unless you go against the law & murder them once & for all.
My point here is that you shouldn’t even comment here if your purpose is to release your angry thoughts.
After all, nagging / scolding / etc is useless, people will just think of you as an annoying ***hole.
If you have children, Stop insulting here & instead, think of P&C. (Preventive & Corrective actions)
So what else is left of you to argue???
Roxendra, not sure whatt ur rant is about. And you seem to be jumping to conclusions. I find it amusing that you are quick to come to the defense of the erotica twits but you seem to want to silence me. If it helps, I am saying we are all free to comment on what’s being published (which you seem to disagree)
Also, you are right. I am emotional when it involves twits and twats