Alvivi — Racists or Just Foolish?

Are Alvivi really guilty of racism/religious bigotry or are they victims of sensationalism?

If you’re a Malaysian, you might have come across the brouhaha on social media involving a picture of a couple posing with a bowl of bak kut teh involving the self-proclaimed Malaysian porn stars, Alvivi (short for their names, Alvin and Vivian). To those unfamiliar to their names, Alvin Tan studied at the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Faculty of Law, under the ASEAN Undergraduate Scholarship. He met his partner-in-crime, Vivian Lee, a Multimedia University (MMU) graduate via Facebook.

They are joint owners of a blog named “Sumptuous Erotica”, where they post video clips and pictures of their sex acts and made public. The sex videos on their blog went viral. It started with 1,000 page views per day, and mere days later it skyrocketed to about 20,000 views per day (and no, I am not one of them).

A screenshot of Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee. | Source: ABC Network Australia

It sparked a controversy and, Alvin landed himself into hot (not bak kut teh) soup. He was forced to take down the blog, and the NUS Board of Discipline (BOD) brought the case into investigation. The Singapore’s Straits Times reported that the National University of Singapore (NUS) had terminated Alvin Tan’s scholarship. Alvin, however, was not expelled from the university.

The picture that angered scores of Muslims. | Source: PingJe.com

So, the bak kut teh picture it has caused a huge stir among Muslims in Malaysian cyberspace, as seen on Facebook and Twitter. The picture is, without a shadow of doubt, a foolish and insensitive act. But in the eyes of many Malay-Muslims in cyberspace, they see the picture as an insult to Islam and its people.

What do I see? I see a couple who crave attention. I see a couple who feed on both compliments and insults to their postings on social media. I see a couple who cannot move on with their lives without telling the world that they have sexual intercourse as often as we change clothes. I see a couple who submit to the number of ‘likes’, ‘retweets’ and ‘shares’ they gain on social media. I see a couple who post stuff on social media without carefully evaluating the consequences of their actions and the response they would chalk up from a particular group of people. You get the point.

I’m sure we have all had our share of people posting and doing bizarre things on social media. How often have we seen friends/strangers sharing things like, the ‘with every like/share this picture gets, we will donate $1 to this child’, or ‘help this dog by sharing this picture’? Don’t even get me started on the racist and ridiculous remarks people spew on social media.

Who don’t I see? I don’t see a couple who hates Muslims or the Malays. I don’t see two racists, or two Malaysians who encourage their people to unite against a particular race — which begs the question, where were these people when Zulkifli Nordin publicly insulted Hinduism without any sign of remorse? Where were these people when Ibrahim Ali publicly asked for the burning of bibles? Where were these people when the infamous blogger Papagomo called on the Malays to unite and slaughter the Chinese ingrates after the Barisan Nasional coalition lost a significant amount of Chinese votes? I thank the heavens we have heard the end of Papagomo, at least for the time being. I pray every day he doesn’t pull off a Scholes-esque return to the Malaysian blogosphere.

In short, I do not think Alvivi is a racist couple, but a couple that unintentionally caused a huge controversy because of their obsession with attention on social media. Why else would anyone create a blog with sex videos of themselves for public consumption, or a picture of themselves wishing the Muslims “Selamat Berbuka Puasa” with a bowl of bak kut teh in the picture?

Well they might be sorry, but I know they’re grinning from ear to ear. Because this foolish publicity stunt (or joke gone wrong, whichever you prefer) has got them thousands of ‘likes’, ‘comments’, and ‘shares’, which is exactly what they wanted in the first place. This picture would probably be a close second on their list of achievements, just behind their sex blog. They might have made fans; they might have made enemies; in the end it doesn’t matter. They got exactly what they wanted – the spotlight.

So unless you have dumasaphobia (the fear of stupid people), I do not see the need for you to send death threats to them.

“Offense is never given, it is only ever taken.”

 


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Posts by Mer Vin

Malaysian. Future optometrist. Football player/enthusiast. Lifelong Manchester United fan. Sapiosexual. I believe in freedom of expression and #198Actions. All for a better Malaysia. I rant about everything from politics to football at @mervin7

Posted on 16 July 2013. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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15 Responses to Alvivi — Racists or Just Foolish?

  1. I don't think Alvivi are racist like Papagomo or Bung Mokhtar or Ibrahim Ali, now these 3 are the real racist idiots.
    All I see is that Alvivi are attention-grabbing-whores, and yeah, the joke was in bad taste.

  2. Otak Kosong

    Why does the name 'Bak Ku Teh' becomes so offensive while 'Chee Cheong Fun' is not?

    Everybody knows that the ingredients are totally switchable to suit individual's needs….

    Some are just toooo sensitive….

    imantulen

  3. xerz

    You know what I see?? I see a racist couple..!!!

  4. Judge

    I really freaking hope they go to jail for at least 1 month.. Or else they will never learn the mistake instead they will be so boastful when they are done with this case without any punishment. They thought all this is funny.. PLEASE GOD!! SENTENCE THEM TO JAIL TO TEACH THEM A LESSON TO NOT DO IT ANYMORE AND NOTHING TO BE FUNNY ABOUT!! PLEASE DO NOT RELEASE THEM WITHOUT PUNISHMENT!!!!!!!

  5. sigh~

    please please please refer back to their twitter..they might be attention seekers but why chose to hurt muslim in this very holy month..

  6. asdasds

    From the start I already figure out that these two were just attention whore. Nothing less.

  7. Really Now?!

    "Who don’t I see? I don’t see a couple who hates Muslims or the Malays. I don’t see two racists, or two Malaysians who encourage their people to unite against a particular race" –Really now????

    Right after their facebook page was shut down, alvin rampaged on his tweeter account calling names such as BUTTHURT MUSLIMS and telling muslims to enjoy their Ramadhan for NOW! if that does not pass as racist, i don't know what does. they are not the tiniest less racist than the likes of Ibrahim Ali.

  8. bumi non malay

    i think UMNO-BN + Agong have nothing to write about to Garner support to their Reducing majority….39%….. This is so non issue…but yet we have managed to make it a MOUNTAIN….the ART of UMNO Brain washed Malaysian…..UNBRAIN WASH and OBLITERATE UMNO……is the only solution for a better Malaysia!!….Meanwhile Umno-Sulu Terrorist still attacking SABAH….

  9. pengtuck

    Let me put it this way.

    We're worried about a greeting, photo and food.

    Meanwhile people are getting killed in lockups and crime on the streets is skyrocketing. Don't forget the ever escalating cost of living and traffic jams.

    I think we have our priorities sorted out pretty well.

  10. Malaysian First

    What exactly is “Bak Kut Teh”?
    What is the exact definition, of “Bak Kut Teh”?
    It is just a dish, usually consumed by the Chinese community.
    It is just FOOD, nothing more, nothing less!

    I have consumed “HALAL Bak Ku Teh”, in the past, in certain countries, right among South East Asia’s countries.
    There is “HALAL Bak Ku Teh” in China, among Muslim majority communities.
    Their exact name is “Chi Ku Teh”, a “Bak Kut Teh” dish made up of HALAL chicken, hence the dish is also known as”HALAL Bak Kut Teh”, a less widely known FACT, outside of Muslim community.

    There is even “HALAL Bak Kwa”, do an internet-search if you doubt it.
    I have consumed HALAL Bak Kwa, along with HALAL Bak Kut Teh!

    If you think POSITIVE, all your actions will be positive, but
    if you think NEGATIVE, all your actions will be NEGATIVE.

    Provoking an enemies heart, is the easiest way to reveal their true nature…

    I think that this duo is neither racist or foolish,
    they are extremely CREATIVE!

  11. visitor

    I don't think Alvivi are racist like Papagomo or Bung Mokhtar or Ibrahim Ali, now these 3 are the real racist idiots.
    All I see is that Alvivi are attention-grabbing-whores, and yeah, the joke was in bad taste.

  12. Pepper Lim

    Nice!

  13. Guest

    "In short, I do not think Alvivi is a racist couple, but a couple that unintentionally caused a huge controversy because of their obsession with attention on social media."

    I wholeheartedly disagree about them being not racists. You can be both attention-craving and racist fools. *sigh* I'll just love this quote here:

    ""Racism is not in your intent. Your intent is immaterial in how racist your actions are. This isn’t about you BEING a racist. It’s about you DOING A THING that is racist. Your intent doesn’t change it. Your ignorance of its meaning doesn’t change it. It’s got nothing to do with you as a person and everything to do with the meaning of your action in the context of sociocultural history.""

    • Guest

      Action is one-off. Racist intention last for as long as one fills his heart and soul with hatred, prejudice and egoism. One can watch his words and behaviours in front of the people, but his racism (the intention) will seep through his every action without him being aware of it… worse still, to erupt like a volcano when his guard is low.

      So tell me, racism is in your intent or action?

      • Guest

        Of course racism can be intentional but that quote I shared is in response to racists who refuse to admit their racism because they didn't 'intend' to. Just because you did not intend to offend someone with an act that would be regarded as racist doesn't make your action any less racist.