News @ AsiaOne

Another NUS student in sex video scandal

Is sex video leak on Internet an act of sabotage? -TNP
Benita Aw Yeong and Linette Heng

Sat, Jan 05, 2013
The New Paper

SINGAPORE - Another National University of Singapore (NUS) student has become embroiled in a potential scandal over a sex video.

Unlike the highly publicised scandal involving former NUS student Alvin Tan, who posted videos of him having sex with his girlfriend, this one has remained low key - until now.

The New Paper was tipped off by a reader who sent an e-mail giving details of the male student who is allegedly in the video.

Claiming that the student holds a scholarship from the Singapore National Co-operative Federation (SNCF), the reader wrote: "(He) has done something very unbecoming of a scholar and (has brought) ill repute to NUS and SNCF.

"I hope the university authorities will take the necessary action lest he proceeds to do more harm to the well-regarded institute of higher learning."

The video, which shows a naked man masturbating, also has watermarked text showing the student's name, e-mail and the scholarship organisation.

In the 14-minute clip, the man, who looked to be in his early 20s, masturbates in front of the camera.

He appears to be speaking in the video, but there was no sound in the clip.

It also shows him using a ruler to measure his penis.

Both NUS and SNCF were not aware of the video until TNP contacted them.

Responding to TNP's queries, an NUS spokesman said the student has denied being the person in the video.

He has also made a police report in June last year on the matter, added the spokesman.

"The university has looked into the matter and interviewed the student involved, and has found no evidence to conclude that the person featured in the video is the student involved," the spokesman said.

He declined to go into further detail about the investigation.

The SNCF, which covers the tuition fees of its scholars and provides a stipend, responded to TNP's queries in a similar vein.

"The scholar has informed SNCF that he is not the person in the video and he has also made a police report in June 2012 pertaining to this incident.

"SNCF had also spoken with the scholar on this matter. We will review if any action needs to be taken after the police have completed their investigations," said its spokesman.

It seems the video could have been posted on the Internet more than six months ago since the student told NUS and SNCF that he made a police report about it in June.

However, a Google search on the student's name found no trace of him or the video except for a file-sharing site where the clip can be downloaded.

The student is pursuing a bachelor's degree in business administration and has enrolled in a master's programme in public policy.

He is also a member of NUS' University Scholars Programme, according to the SNCF website.

Attempts to speak to him, made through NUS, were turned down.

The student also declined to reveal his police report number, which the police need in order to verify if a report had indeed been made.

While it is uncertain if the person in the video is the student, one thing seems clear: The video leak seems to be an attempt to sabotage him and mar his reputation as it featured his personal details.

Counsellor John Vasavan said: "He might have offended someone who might be trying to trap him in this way.

"Or this scholar could be used as a tool for someone unhappy with the system to tell the authorities that they are giving scholarships away to the wrong people."

Sabotage common

Such cases of sabotage are not uncommon.

In Malaysia, the ex-lover of a 30-year-old teacher threatened to post nude photos and sex videos of her if she refused to pay him the RM50,000 (S$20,000) he had demanded, reported The Star last month.

In Mr Alvin Tan's case, the blogger and his girlfriend, Miss Vivian Lee, had no qualms admitting they were the stars in their homemade sex videos.

Mr Tan, an Asean scholar from Malaysia, had his scholarship later stripped by NUS.

Media experts caution that in an age of high connectivity and thriving social media, people need to realise that nothing is really private.

"With technology,we live in glass houses these days more than ever," said Mr James Keng Lim, the director of integrated communications at advertising agency Dentsu Singapore.

"We need to look more into the privacy settings of our social media accounts, and also be aware of the range of consequences that the content we upload can lead to."

Other online sex scandals

OCTOBER 2012

Malaysian couple AlvinTan and Vivian Lee sparked controversy andoutrage here and across the Causeway when they uploaded explicit videos of themselves having sex.

Named Sumptuous Erotica, their now-defunct blog contained photos of the naked couple and videos of their romps, complete with sound.

After making headlines, Mr Tan, a 24-year-old student at the National University of Singapore,and Miss Lee, 23, defended their display, which they saw as art, in press interviews.

They said that what they did was not hurting the public, though Miss Lee later said she regretted hurting her family.

Mr Tan's Asean scholarship was eventually terminated. The student, who had been on a leave of absence from NUS since August 2011, said he remains undecided on whether to complete his final year at the law school.

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat called his behaviour "reprehensible and unbecoming of a scholar".

DECEMBER 2012

A 30-year-old Malaysian teacher went on camera to warn other women not to trust men after her ex-lover threatened to post nude photos of her and their sex videos online.

The Star in Malaysia reported that the woman, who is known only as Ms Tan, had met her boyfriend through mutual friends.

She claimed that the 34-year-old man told her that he was separated from his wife but several months into their relationship, she found out that he was married with a five-year-old daughter.

He then promised to divorce his wife, but went back on his word.

When she finally decided to call it quits early last month, he threatened to post about 20 nude photos of her and two of their sex videos.

Ms Tan said:"He tried to extort RM50,000 (S$20,000) from me, saying he would expose my nude pictures and video clips online.

"I want to warn all women to be brave and not to blindly trust men and their sweet words."

NOVEMBER 2011

Salacious pictures of 16-year-old Hong Kong model Cammi Tse smooching bare-bodied heartthrob Edison Chen were leaked online, causing the latter to apologise "for his stupidity".

Tse claimed the pictures were taken off her mobile phone after it got lost, and that the episode was not a publicity stunt.

This was not Hong Kong actor Chen's first time at the centre of a sex scandal.

In 2008, the actor's collection of intimate shots with various female celebrities, including Gillian Chung and Cecilia Cheung, surfaced, shaking the Hong Kong entertainment industry.

SEPTEMBER 2008

When saucy photos of Malaysian actress Zarina Ann Julie were leaked on the Internet, she claimed they were not of her.

When more surfaced, she admitted they were taken while shewas young and before she entered showbiz.

The photos show her appearing topless and posing intimately with a man.

The actress, who is famous for her role in the series Anak Pontianak, apologised to her fans and asked for their forgiveness.

tnp@sph.com.sg


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