Malaysian “sex blogger” Alvin Tan Jye Yee claims to have fled to the United States, where he intends to seek political asylum.Tan, 26, and his partner, Vivian Lee May Ling, 25, are facing criminal charges under Malaysia's Sedition Act as well as the Film Censorship Act for their controversial online uploads, including a photo deemed insulting to Islam on Facebook as well as pornographic images on their blogs.
Tan - speaking to our correspondent via a personal Facebook account that Channel NewsAsia has verified belongs to the “sex blogger” - said on Wednesday (Sep 24): “I'm busy starting a new life here (in the US), apart from awaiting my final asylum hearing. I'm here to seek political refuge from the tyranny of UMNO - simple as that.”
Tan first applied for asylum-seeker status in May, after disappearing from the public eye following a documentary shoot in Singapore. He said he feels confident the US will grant him asylum - and if they do not, he claimed he will continue posting "seditious material" online to strengthen his case.
"The Department of State produced a Human Rights Report on Malaysia in 2013 which explicitly cites my case as a repression of internet speech rights," he said.
"If all else fails, I can easily publish more 'seditious' materials on my Facebook to taunt the authorities and get them to be hot on the pursuit of me again, therefore creating an even more well-founded fear of political persecution to bolster my asylum claim.”
Tan and Lee were jointly accused of making a seditious posting on their Facebook page when they uploaded a photo of themselves eating bak kut teh, a Chinese herbal pork soup, with the caption "Selamat berbuka puasa" - a Malay greeting used when breaking fast.
Tan, a former law student at the National University of Singapore, and Malaysian citizen Lee gained notoriety in Malaysia and Singapore by posting erotic photographs and videos of their lovemaking as well as close-ups of their genitals on a blog. - CNA