Malaysian sex bloggers Alvin Tan Jye Yee and Vivien Lee May Ling were whisked off to prison – he was sent to the Sungai Buloh jail while she was sent to the Kajang jail – after being hit with three charges over their controversial Ramadan "bak kut teh" (a pork dish) greeting on Facebook and pornographic pictures in their blog.
The Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court also came down hard on them by denying them bail.
Tan, 25, and Lee, 24, were jointly charged under Subsection 5(1) of the Film Censorship Act 2002 (Act 620), Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act and Section 298A(1) of the Penal Code.
They were charged with displaying pornographic images on their blog, uploading content that could stir up hostility based on religion and publishing a seditious photograph and comment.
Both claimed trial to the three charges read out to them before judge Murtazadi Amran.
Tan, 25, glowered at the crowd in the public gallery while Lee, 24, had a wrist cast on her right hand.
Asked about the cast, the kindergarten teacher replied: “I got robbed a few weeks ago.”
Earlier, Tan and Lee, who were in the dock, were seen talking to his mother.
Noorin Badaruddin, Ishak Mohd Yusof, Nadia Mohd Izhar and Henry Tan were the public prosecutors (DPPs) while counsel Chong Joo Tian, Wong Kee Them and Adila Kamaruzaman acted for Tan and Lee.
Noorin said offences under Subsection 5(1) of the Film Censorship Act 2002 (Act 620) and Section 298A(1) of the Penal Code were non-bailable and said the prosecution objected to any bail.
“They have a tendency to upload content that stirs up public anger. Thus, we apply for the two not to be bailed until the trial ends,” she said.
Noorin also applied for a joint trial under Section 170 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
In response, Chong said the court had the discretion to allow bail.
He said it was premature to say his clients have the tendency to upload content when the trial had not even started.
He said Tan and Lee were young, and that he was unemployed while she was earning about 900 ringgit (US$281) a month as a teacher.
He added that the court should not be pressured by statements made outside.
Judge Murtazadi granted the prosecution’s application for the three charges to be jointly tried and denied bail.
He set Aug. 23 for mention.
Later, Chong told reporters that they would appeal against the decision not to grant bail.
The pair’s online posting last Thursday caused an uproar among Malaysians, following which the couple replaced the display with a picture of them eating ketupat, rendang and curry puffs (traditional Malay food).
The Facebook page was later shut down.Tan and Lee also apologised for the posting in a 1:22 minute video on YouTube, and said that it was done in humour.