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NUS on Alvin Tan sex scandal: We adopt a ‘rigorous’ process in the selection of scholarship recipients

Posted by temasektimes on October 17, 2012

After maintaining a ‘noble’ silence for more than two days, the National University of Singapore (NUS) has finally issued a statement on the Alvin Tan sex scandal.

An ASEAN scholar and law undergraduate, Alvin Tan courted controversy by posting photos and videos of him having sex with his girlfriend on his blog which earns the ire of many netizens.

In a terse statement released today, NUS said Alvin Tan has been served a notice of Board of Discipline (BOD) inquiry, and the board will look into the matter and take appropriate disciplinary actions.

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 and any student found in breach of the university’s Code of Student Conduct will be disciplined.

The controversy raised serious questions again about NUS’s selection process of its foreign scholars. However, NUS is adamant that Alvin Tan’s conduct is not a reflection of all their scholars:

“NUS 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 this is not a reflection of all our scholars, most of whom are accomplished students making a meaningful contribution to the NUS community”.

Being a ‘foreign talent’, Alvin Tan will get a slap on his wrist at the most. Six months ago, NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu sparked a massive outcry by making disparaging remarks about Singaporeans on his microblog. He was only ‘counselled’ and asked to serve a few hours of community service to appease the public.


34 Responses to “NUS on Alvin Tan sex scandal: We adopt a ‘rigorous’ process in the selection of scholarship recipients”

  1. Jack said

    I don’t think we need such FT, I would urge NUS to withdraw his scholarship and ensure the full amount plus interest are being returned to NUS for a true blue student who deserves it. Thank you

  2. Ken Lee said

    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.
    is not receiving scholarship funds or will not receiving scholarship funds?

    • Steve Lee said

      Exactly. It might be business as usual once the hoo hah dies down. One law for Singaporeans another for FT and foreigners.

  3. Wld netizens judge him as harshly if he is our son? Undoubtefly stupid of him and his girlfriend to attract adverse publicity like this, but youthful folly really can be extreme until its outcome weighs in over some time.
    It is to be hoped that they realise there are social boundaries they cannot transgress without a heavy price, to wake up to the realities of life.

  4. Corrigendum: “undoubtefly” shd b “undoubtedly” in my post above.

  5. Realist said

    ” NUS adopts a rigorous process in the selection of scholarship recipients…. ”

    A cracking good joke. Which institution will say that they did not ?
    A good tree will bear good fruits and vice versa.
    Obviously, any idiot can see what kind of fruit this tree has produced.

    • Edmund said

      Nus has to come out and defend itself and says its selection system is rigorous.No system can actually forsee a person 100 percent.U see the face,but can u see his heart.Only time will tell if a person is upright or otherwise.

  6. PedoBear said

    Although Alvin Tan has been classified as an ‘FT’ in this article, he has been cultured in Singapore since his secondary school days. Perhaps, someone could shed light on what led him to be “Annabel Chong”.

    • abdcution said

      I second that. When was the recent sex scandals involving sgrean minister and Sgrean woman??

    • tiger show sponsor said

      He cannot hold a candle to the legendary “Annabel Chong” at her prime.
      In fact Alvin has to take a queue number just to get a sniff of Annabel assuming he had been in the same era.

    • KONEK-MAN said

      Funny that you mentioned Annabel Chong, Vivian Lee (Alvin’s gf aka the female pornstar in his blog) has ticked “Annabel Chong” as her “Favorites” in her Facebook Profile. Ha ha ha

      • tiger show sponsor said

        Does that mean Alvin was training Vivian to emulate Annabel Chong?
        To reach a fraction of Annabel’s standard, Vivian has to practise with more men and in much shorter time frames.

  7. Not SGporean, Not PRC, Not Pinoy, Not Bangla, Not Ang Moh either. said

    Looks like he has both brain and build. Look wise … well, at least he doesn’t look like an otaku nerd. He is not a SGporean and he took those pictures outside SG. He knows he would not break any SG law … how’s that from a law student?

  8. Singapuraboi said

    Actually scholarships r granted based on academic excellence meaning intelligence is the main criteria here and not moral standards. Don’t think when they offered scholarships, the institutions included a clause on exemplary moral standards and behaviour. Such things r just implied and therefore may be misinterpreted. As Alvin Tan is not Singaporean, he was not brought up on the concept of self-censorship which Singaporeans r so aware of.

  9. Concerned said

    Yes, I believe NUS’ selection criteria was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo STRICT that exhibitionists like Alvin Tan can breeze past their radar under their noses. I wish NUS administration will stop treating the general public like some stupid teenager who can be bluffed.

    Public money wasted on a moron. My heart hurts you know?

  10. Lim said

    This is what Alvin wrote in one of his facebook rantings -“in Singapore, you have semi-competent yet greedy politicians in charge, making life a living hell for everyone with price hikes, non-sensible immigration policies, and even more new laws to curb personal freedoms or scare people into voluntarily surrendering their freedoms”.
    “There are also peculiar costs in Singapore that make no sense: S$500,000 99-year leasehold shoeboxes in the air and S$80,000 license to own a car (not the car itself), just to name a few.”
    “that the entire island of Singapore is the same “shit” over and over again: HDB flats, heartland hubs, private condominiums, shopping malls, office buildings, night spots, schools, and the occasional park/nature reserve/beach”.

    The govt deserves his comments after sponsoring his studies with our money. What Alvin said rings very true.

  11. Monkeysee said

    What’s wrong with him posting explicit photographs of himself and his girlfriend if they are both of consenting age, and if it was done with explicit consent?
    He’s an adult. Adults have sex. It was his own private blog.

    Seems like a witch hunt against someone who simply doesn’t share some peoples’ idea of propriety. Don’t see why NUS’ selection policy for awarding scholarships has anything to do with this.

  12. Chee Kok Wing said

    Alvin ought to be expelled.

  13. Mr oohlala said

    Typical American style FREEDOM gone out of control!

  14. Naivety said

    Hey Folks,

    He is just being creative in helping to promote our government policy to increase our total fertility rate lah!

  15. solaris8899 said

    this is the result of wrong doing yet refuse to admin…why we need this type of ppl seating on top making decisions.

  16. @ Monkeysee abv.: While Alvin’s sense of propriety may differ from the norm, it does not mean that he can knowingly and wilfully transgress the limits of social tolerance by doing things that offend the social mores without a price to be paid. Being unrepentant, he has aggravated his misdeed for a heavier price to be paid, as a deterrent to others like him. His scholarship shd be revoked at the very least.

    • Monkeysee said

      So here’s what I don’t get: that because he’s more liberal than most, he should be penalized. The underlying message is: I don’t approve of what you’re doing; you need to conform to my point of view – or face consequences. And repent.

      Well, in this case, then, I take the opposing view: I don’t disapprove.

      I don’t think his scholarship needs to be revoked unless he has violated particular terms of contract – which has yet to be proven. And if there is a ‘morality clause’ in his contract, hopefully it describes clearly who’s yardstick of ‘morality’ is being used before deciding if he’s infringed it.

      Of the people who are clamoring for his punishment, I wonder how many have indulged in the occasional viewing of porn, or even R(A) entertainment. How many have in fact indulged in R&R at home or abroad. My personal guess is that the majority would have done at least one or the other. What’s my point? Not sure there is one. But if there is, it would probably have to do with stones and the throwing of them.

  17. Ah Piah said

    NUS standing in international rankings has just leapfrogged to No 1, thanks in no small measure to Alvin Tan, who single handedly stole the march on NUS Law Faculty behalf. May NUS Law Faculty be blessed with more Alvins to keep the flag flying.

  18. Kelvin Lawrence said

    As Vivien Lee is also involved in this outrageous act, she must be sanctioned too. Her action will be a setback to many girls who is still virgin till they are married.

    • lopez jennifer said

      That is old school, girl keeping her virginity for husband. Tell me honestly, how many men are virgins as well before marriage ?

  19. Jegathesan said

    We must see think out of box.I dont think Alvin never tot about this ealier since he is a law student.So its clear for me both of them open minded.If ure not happy please dont force them .

  20. @ Monkeysee 18 Oct at 4.58 pm: Wittingly or otherwise, we’ve stumbled on Jean J Rousseau’s doctrine of ‘the General Will’ representing the majority will to which the individual wld hv to submit for social cohesion and harmony. And in our local context, I shd think Alvin’s case falls within Rousseau’s political doctrine bering in mind we’re an Asian society still not as liberal as the west.

    • Monkeysee said

      Rousseau’s theory is, in my opinion, flawed. It ascribes notions of ‘freedom’ under constraint. i.e. keep your head down, toe the line, and you’re free to do whatever you want – as long as whatever you want is what I want. Because, really, who gets to determine what the “general will” is? Probably those in power. If everyone blindly succumbed to this concept, there would have been no breakthroughs in science, in philosophy, in minority rights, in personal freedoms. I therefore reject the idea of “general will” being sacrosanct.

      As for the notion of Asian culture being less liberal: the fact is that most major Asian cities are unabashedly rife with sex trade – from the outright in-your-face kind such as that found in Thailand and Philippines, to the “business-related” hostess bars and karaokes of China, Taiwan, and even Indonesia. Singapore, for that matter, apparently boasts both types now. Sex is a big business in Asia, and just as buoyed and supported by local patronage, as it is by boatloads of Westerners on sex-tour junkets. In fact, it is far more rampant and in-your-face in Asia than it is in many Western countries. So l’d rather not get into a East vs. West debate. It’s not really the issue.

      What it all boils down to is this young man putting out content that some view as offensive. But the clincher here is: those who have been offended – did they actually view the material in order to get offended? Since it was a private blog, one would have had to deliberately sought it out in order to view it. If a person actively seeks out material, just so he/she could be offended by it, that’s just hypocritical. Conversely, if one is offended by material that one hasn’t even seen, well, guess what? I think the H-word applies too.

      But even that isn’t really my point.

      I guess what really bothers me is the call to revoke his scholarship on the grounds of non-conformity. Again, if there’s a clause he’s contravened, fine. Mete out appropriate consequence, as contractually agreed to.But if consequence is imposed arbitrarily, based on “general principle” or “general will”, well, that would be far more offensive to me than whatever the kid has published on his blog.

      And that’s all I have to say, about that.

  21. To correct, “bering” shd be “bearing”.

  22. A.Yob said

    In Singapore either “you toe the line or be lined-up and toe’s off”.
    It is regimented probably with noble & practical goals/intentions in mind. Though necessary for maintenance of public order in a crowded set up like Singapore, many regard that regimentation stifles innovation, creativity & even thinking; as it would be punishable if one were to illustrate, demonstrate, even verbalize concepts contrary to accepted norms.
    A person of average intelligence & normal as generally regarded would be able to differentiate between acceptable or otherwise. Of course those who live outside of that sphere are regarded as – extroverts, different, avante garde, artistic, Bi-polar, criminal, brilliant, delinquents, menace, etc etc.
    Guess there is no perfect society or community except one where everyone is one of “the 3 monkeys”
    When one lives in a society so densely populated as Singapore one has to exercise a communal sensitivity.
    In “Rome do as the Romans do”.
    Democracy and Liberalism do not equate complete freedom to do whatever one desires .. all fools know that.
    So who decides then what are accepted norms … the Law? The PM? MM or the Strategic Think Tank? the local Constabulary?
    Animals fornicate in clear view of others.They ARE animals. If one who isn’t an animal, uploads fornication and places it on a publicly accessible online site there is hardly discernible difference !
    Your grandpa knows a Higher Authority we all answer to.
    He has yet to show His hand….
    Guess Mr. Alvin & his friend will find out soon enough Who He is…
    Wish them many happy years of (?interminable) youth!

  23. To Monkeysee: Agree J Rousseau’s ‘General Will’ is not a ‘one size fits all’. But I wld agree with A. Yob abv that we’re not animals and, as I said earlier, Alvin must realise he’s not an island unto himself alone, but just a digit within a larger community that, like it or not, he has to fit in without causing undue offence and that there is a price he has to pay otherwise.

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