The founder of Sugarbook has been charged in a Malaysian court with “intent to cause fear or unrest to the public”. Darren Chan was arrested last week after the company issued a promotional post about the number of sugar babies attending the country’s universities.
He pleaded not guilty, before magistrates, to publishing the post with the intention to cause public fear.
The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission blocked access to Sugarbook for allegedly breaching the law on the use of network facilities. There continues to be speculation about whether or not the platform facilitates prostitution.
However, the developers then set up an alternative site to enable its users to temporarily access the blocked webpage. It was also still usable with the help of a VPN.
Sugarbook matches ‘sugar daddies’ to ‘sugar babies’, who tend to be older and more well-off for a largely financial arrangement.
The charge under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code carries a punishment of up to two years imprisonment, or a fine, or both upon conviction. The court fixed bail at RM10,000 (£1,742) in one surety and ordered the accused to surrender his passport to the court.
The case is due to be put before the local courts again on 26th March.
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