KUALA LUMPUR: Sex blogger Alvin Tan’s decision to seek asylum in the United States has drawn flak from Malaysian social media users, many of whom believe he should face up to his actions rather than flee the country.
Tan and his former partner, Vivian Lee, were charged under the Sedition Act for uploading a bak kut teh posting during Ramadan last year, but he violated his bail conditions while on a supposed working trip to Singapore.
Tan, 26, insisted in a recent interview with The Malaysian Insider that leaving Malaysia was “the only rational action” as he was powerless to fight “tyranny and ignorance”.
However, most Facebook users felt otherwise, noting that Tan should have been brave enough to face the consequences of the law after knowingly breaking it.
“The reason he ‘tak suka [doesn’t like] Malaysia’ is because he’s being prosecuted for a crime under Malaysian law. In my opinion, he deserves to be punished for his puerile acts in the past,” wrote Facebook user Josh Wu.
“He openly admitted to deceiving the courts by fleeing to the United States after Malaysian courts were kind enough to allow him to go to Singapore for some film-shooting. The law shouldn’t protect those who misuse the law. He who seeks equity must do equity.”
Another Facebook user, Eugene Leong, said Tan had started the entire episode with his Ramadan wishes, which he said were uncalled for.
“That was indeed a silly and stupid thing to do. Yes, he was punished by the courts. Yes, he fled Malaysia via some excuses.
“But, what I would really like to know is how he feels now, knowing that he got his mum to lose the bond money of RM20,000 when he ran away, instead of defending himself in court!” wrote Leong.
They also warned Tan that he would be extradited back to Malaysia and still have to face the courts.
“Don’t be confident. Soon he will realise that he will be extradited back to Malaysia. But I really pity the girl because he left her,” wrote Mohd Shafian Noordin, referring to Lee. — The Malaysian Insider
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on September 29, 2014.