Singaporean 'naturist' says Penang nude games to promote health, not sex

Nudists frolicking on a Penang beach two months ago in a video that went viral and that has now led to an investigation by the police in Malaysia. -- PHOTO: VIMEO
Nudists frolicking on a Penang beach two months ago in a video that went viral and that has now led to an investigation by the police in Malaysia. -- PHOTO: VIMEO

KUALA LUMPUR - A Singaporean who is the self-proclaimed "naturist" behind the controversial nude sports video shot in Penang said the event was not sexual in nature and was meant to promote a healthy lifestyle, a Malaysian paper reported.

Mr Albert Yam, a member of a Singaporean naturist group, said he has been living the naturist lifestyle for 25 years and the practice, he stressed, does not prescribe going naked for sexual reasons.

"Purely nudism... No sex! We have given talks in Thailand and Singapore... We all are true nudist," he told Malay Mail Online in a recent interview through Facebook.

Mr Yam, whose name appears at the beginning of the controversial clip, has since changed the video's privacy settings, noting that it has attracted unwanted attention from the media.

He said this was to protect his friends, acknowledging Malaysian police have opened investigations on the participants.

The Star newspaper reported on Wednesday that the five-minute video shows the group in the nude participating in activities such as body painting, a relay race, a group crab-walk and a Gangnam-style dance with one woman riding a man who was on all fours like a horse, among others.

The video was reportedly shot at Teluk Kampi, which is touted as the longest beach at the Penang National Park, said the newspaper.

The police in Penang launced an investigation after receiving 12 complaints about the event.

At a news conference in George Town on Wednesday Penang police chief Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi said the incident is being investigated under Section 509 of Penal of Code for using words or gestures intended to insult the modesty of a person. A five-year jail term or a fine or both face convicted offenders.

Seven of the 15 participants have been identified as Malaysians, with the remainder comprising four Singaporeans, two Myanmar, a Filipino and an Indian national. Nine of the participants were men and six, women.

In the Facebook interview, Mr Yam also insisted that the May event was the first and only one to be organised on Malaysian shores.

"Only this big nude event... one time only," he said, confirming that the event included Malaysian participants.

Mr Yam claimed the party of nudists had been given permission from a ranger to use the private stretch of beach for their sporting activity.

Asked if he was aware of Malaysian laws regarding nudity in public, he said: "No… if the beach is quiet and seclusive, it is okay to go nude… as long as I don't offend people."

He added: "Law are man-made one... if good and benefit to people, law should change".

Mr Yam, however, stressed that his group did not mean to break the law or offend others.

"Please help us to make it positive," he asked before the interview ended.

"Anything you want to know more, you can ask me. I need your help to tell the public… it is not sex. it is a lifestyle."