SINGAPORE: There is a possibility that a National University of Singapore (NUS) student may be charged with posting obscene material on the internet.
This is according to lawyers Channel NewsAsia spoke to.
ASEAN scholar Alvin Tan Jye Yee had posted sexually explicit videos and pictures of him and his girlfriend online.
Mr Tan put the obscene material on his blog, which has since been deactivated.
However, the videos and images have been copied and circulated elsewhere.
Under Singapore legislation, it is an offence to make and distribute obscene films. It is also illegal to publish obscene images.
The posting of the obscene videos and pictures has generated a lot of chatter online, with various forums and blogs carrying a myriad of opinions on the couple’s actions. Many have ridiculed the sharing of the videos and images.
When it comes to whether the obscene postings have indeed contravened Singapore’s laws, or whether there is a case for prosecution, lawyers Channel NewsAsia spoke to said the situation may be a little tricky, depending on where the visuals and postings were made.
Josephus Tan, senior associate at Patrick Tan LLC, said: "The material question is where the offences were being committed and in this case it seems to be Malaysia. I think Malaysia actually shares an almost identical Penal Code to ours, so the person can actually be charged for a Penal Code offence back in Malaysia, or even under their so—called Malaysian Films Censorship Act."
In a statement, the National University of Singapore (NUS) said the student has been served a notice of Board of Discipline (BOD) inquiry, and the board will look into the matter and take appropriate disciplinary actions.
NUS said the student concerned is with the NUS Faculty of Law and is on an ASEAN Undergraduate Scholarship.
A spokesman of NUS said that Tan is currently on a Leave of Absence and is not receiving scholarship funds. He has also been advised to take down the offensive posts.
NUS said it does not condone posting of offensive content online by any member of the NUS community.
All NUS students are expected to conduct themselves in a responsible manner and should not be associated with offensive behaviour.
Any student found in breach of the university’s Code of Student Conduct will be disciplined.
NUS said it adopts a rigorous process in the selection of scholarship recipients and scholars are selected based on their academic achievements and personal accomplishments.
The university takes a serious view of the conduct of the student concerned, but reiterates that "this is not a reflection of all our scholars, most of whom are accomplished students making a meaningful contribution to the NUS community".
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