KUALA LUMPUR: Vivian Lee, the former girlfriend of controversial blogger Alvin Tan, has been fined RM5,000 (US$1,292.40), or six months’ jail in default, for posting a Ramadan greeting on Facebook in 2013 that showed her and Tan eating pork.
Lee, 29, was originally convicted of insulting Islam by making the offensive posting and sentenced to five months and 22 days' jail on May 27, 2016.
High Court judge Mohd Sofian Abd Razak on Tuesday (Apr 10) allowed Lee's appeal for the jail sentence to be replaced with a fine. In allowing the appeal, he also dismissed the prosecution's appeal for a longer jail sentence of one year.
Mr Mohd Sofian also advised Lee not to repeat the mistake and warned her of more serious penalties if she did.
Lee and Tan were jointly charged with committing the offence by posting a picture of her and Tan with the caption "Selamat Berbuka Puasa (with bak kut teh ... fragrant, delicious and appetising)", which also contained the halal logo, on their Facebook page Alvin and Vivian-Alvivi at 9am on Jul 12, 2013.
The charge was made under Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act 1948 which provides a fine of up to RM5,000 or imprisonment of up to three years, or both, upon conviction.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin said to reporters outside the court that the prosecution would file an appeal on Thursday.
Lee and Tan, once a promising law student at the National University of Singapore (NUS), sparked an earlier round of controversy in 2012 for a sexually explicit blog they published called "Sumptuous Erotica".
In it the couple posted erotic photographs and videos of them having sex, as well as close-ups of their genitals - and despite an outcry remained unrepentant, claiming they had done no wrong.