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Tuesday January 7, 2014 MYT 8:54:00 AM
Tuesday January 7, 2014 MYT 8:51:39 PM
by michelle tam
ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: PETALING JAYA: In his e-book Sex, Pork and Persecution, Tan shares gritty insights of his one-week stint in Sungai Buloh prison.
The 25-year-old Youtube personality, better known as part of sex blogger duo Alvivi (the other is Vivian Lee, 24), was sent to the maximum-security facility to await trial after being denied bail in July last year.
Despite the frank and humorous tone employed throughout the chapter, titled Wonder What It's Like In A Malaysian Jail?, Tan admitted fearing for his life due to hostile treatment from the first few inmates he met.
"Would I get my ass kicked? Would I be sodomised? Would I be murdered in my sleep?" he wrote in his 276-page memoir.
This had him greeting the news of his isolated stay with relief, as it did not require him to utilise "Wing Chun and wrestling skills learnt from reruns of Ip Man and WWE Smackdown."
Drug traffickers and gangsters were among the prisoners handpicked for Tan's cellmates in solitary confinement, where he had nothing to his name but underwear and some toiletries.
"No prison uniform, no clothes, no furniture, no bed, no mattress, and only a blanket at night. Yup, we just wore underwear in our cells all the time. We slept on the cold, hard concrete night after night," he added.
The co-author of Sumptuous Erotica, a now-defunct public sex blog, also described his humiliations in explicit detail.
As inmate number 31303963, Tan was ordered to strip and do twenty squats: "A guard ridiculed me for publishing amateur pornography after seeing my allegedly small penis."
Tan did not blame the guard, as he did not have the "privilege of seeing the erect 6-inch version", but queried their penchant for inflicting stripping punishments.
"Really, one must seriously question their uncanny fascination with my genitalia," he wrote.
Tan later described his own heterosexual admiration of a Nigerian inmate's "healthily large" private parts, which was "the most beautiful flaccid penis" that he had ever laid eyes on.
The former boy scout was also impressed by the resourceful nature of fellow prisoners, which included the ability to fashion a strong noose using only plastic bags.
One "pay day" incident saw a cellmate searching his own faeces, as the inmate had swallowed money and was eager to recoup his assets to trade for items like cigarettes, which were sold at RM25 per stick.
Although he contracted post-prison gastroenteritis after eating with unclean hands, Tan found that the quality of prison food surpassed the usual meals he had while living alone.
"I was actually impressed how balanced the meals were: there was at least one meat, one vegetable, one fruit, gravy, and a lot of rice," he wrote.
In the residential halls, inmates could buy snacks from the prison supermarket using coupons that family members purchase for them from the outside.
But for those in solitary confinement, there were three meals a day and no snacks, so it was common to feel constantly hungry.
In an allusion to his original Ramadan Facebook prank, Tan also earned a peculiar nickname from the more affectionate guards during his stay in jail.
Routine checks included hearing shouts of "Hey, Bak Kut Teh!", which was his cue to drop everything he was doing and stand at the door to show them that he had not committed suicide.
Boredom management was also key to staying sane: though Tan was not given access to newspapers, he was allowed to read books while waiting to be let out.
Other inmates chose to do push ups, walk around in circles, and sing Cantonese songs, and one prisoner even professed a love for the porn that Tan produced.
The lack of activities to keep him occupied caused Tan to jump for joy every time he received visitors, regardless of their treatment of him.
This included hostile guards who dropped by his cell to issue threats, and friendlier visitors such as family members and officers from Suhakam (Human Rights Commission).
As for Lee, who served one week in the Kajang Women's Prison, Tan described her as "super horny" when they reunited after being released on bail of RM30,000 each.
He also found himself excited at the prospect of her cellmates who experienced similar sexual frustration from lack of male contact: "For days, I had fantasies of being sent to a women's prison to service the girls and ensure that they were sexually satisfied. It's just a dream at the moment, but it would make a damn good porn script for sure."
Despite the difficulties described, the subject matter is gripping and Tan's candid description of his stay keeps reading light and breezy.
The chapter was dedicated to Tan's cellmates, who had urged him to write about his experiences, and three prison officials who made him "tear up" with their kindness towards him.
On July 11 last year, Tan and Lee stirred up a controversy with a 'Selamat Berbuka Puasa' greeting uploaded to their joint Facebook page during Ramadan.
The picture, which also contained a halal logo, depicted them eating bak kut teh described as 'wangi, enak, menyelerakan' (fragrant, delicious, appetising) and caused an uproar among Malaysians of all races for their insensitivity.
They were jointly charged with publishing the photograph with possibly seditious statements, uploading pornographic images on their blog, and uploading content that had the possibility to stir hostility based on religion between those with different beliefs.
Their trial has been postponed, pending a bid to have the charge under Section 298A(1) of the Penal Code for stirring hostility between religions struck out.
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