Prosecution fails to serve arrest warrant against sex blogger

KUALA LUMPUR - The prosecution has failed to serve a warrant of arrest against sex blogger Alvin Tan Jye Yee for not returning his passport to the court after a trip to Singapore on May 18.

"We still failed to serve the warrant of arrest against Tan for the second time. Therefore, we would like to apply for the next mention date for the bailor to show cause as to why the bail against Tan should not be forfeited," Deputy Public Prosecutor Yong Ann Nee said when the case was mentioned before Sessions Court judge Abdul Rashid Daud yesterday.

The judge then fixed Aug 22 as the next mention date.

DPP Yong said the second accused - Vivian Lee May Ling - had been exempted from attending court proceedings.

On June 13, a warrant of arrest was issued against Tan by the Sessions Court here for failing to return his passport.

Prior to that, judge Abdul Rashid had granted an application on May 12 by Tan and Lee to have their passports released so that they could shoot a documentary in Singapore.

He granted them the period between May 18 and June 3 so that the couple, known as Alvivi, could go to Singapore for the purpose.

Tan, 26, and Lee, 25, claimed trial on July 18 last year, before Sessions Court judge Murtazadi Amran to three charges under the Film Censorship Act, Sedition Act and Penal Code.

On April 21 this year, the Court of Appeal struck out one of the charges against them over their Ramadan Facebook posting, ruling that it did not apply to non-Muslims.

Tan and Lee had appealed to have the charge under Section 298 of the Penal Code - for stirring hostility between religions - struck out on the grounds that the law was meant to ensure smoothness of the practice of Islam among its followers, not those of other religions.

The charges that still stand are for allegedly publishing a photograph with the comment "Selamat Berbuka Puasa (dengan bak kut teh...wangi, enak, menyelerakan)" which contained a halal logo and possibly seditious statements, and for displaying pornographic images on their blog.

Their postings on July 11 last year were removed by them when there was a public uproar about their insensitivity. They followed it up with a picture of them eating ketupat, rendang and curry puffs.