Lewd photos: ASEAN scholar faces disciplinary action

SINGAPORE - The student who posted sexually explicit photos and videos of himself and his girlfriend on his blog is facing a disciplinary inquiry.

ASEAN scholarship holder Alvin Tan Jye Yee has been served notice to appear before a board that will take appropriate action against him, said a spokesman for the National University of Singapore (NUS).

He added that the 24-year-old law student is not receiving scholarship funds because he is on a leave of absence, and has been advised to take down the offensive posts.

The spokesman told The Straits Times the university has a rigorous selection process for scholarship recipients based on their academic achievements and personal accomplishments. "This is not a reflection of all our scholars, most of whom are accomplished students making a meaningful contribution to the NUS community."

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Education also said it takes a serious view of Mr Tan's conduct and deems his actions to be offensive.

The Malaysian first made the news on Monday over the sexually explicit pictures and video footage. When The Straits Times tried to access the blog yesterday afternoon, it was closed to public access and asked users for a password.

When contacted by phone, Mr Tan said he decided to take down the blog as both he and his girlfriend, a 23-year-old known as Vivian, "were receiving a lot of unwanted attention". His Malaysian girlfriend's parents are aware of the blog, he said.

The student confirmed that he was required to attend a meeting with the university's board of discipline. "Of course I intend to go," he said. "What am I supposed to do? Am I supposed to hide myself?"

But he added that he did not have the courage to enter Singapore any time soon. "I can already feel the pressure from here (Malaysia). I don't think I am ready to go to Singapore... I'm not ready to be recognised on the streets."

His case, the latest of a person using social media to spread explicit photos, has ignited much debate here about the limits of expression.

Ms Cynthia Soe, a 21-year-old student at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), said: "Just because they think there is nothing inherently wrong with sex doesn't mean they can abuse their right to post materials on their blog."

But NTU student Zachary Heng, 23, thinks it is "not that big a deal". "They probably just want to be famous... I was more amused than anything else."

leepearl@sph.com.sg


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Ex-NUS law scholar and girlfriend post explicit videos online
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