Sugarbook founder charged with incitement over claims of ‘sugar babies’ among Malaysian varsity students

Kenneth Tee
·2-min read
Sugarbook founder and CEO Chan Eu Boon arrives at the High Court complex in Shah Alam February 24, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Sugarbook founder and CEO Chan Eu Boon arrives at the High Court complex in Shah Alam February 24, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

SHAH ALAM, Feb 24 — The Malaysian founder of the Sugarbook dating platform claimed trial at the Magistrates Court here today to the charge of publishing statements conducive to public mischief on social media earlier this month.

Chan Eu Boon, 34, was accused of committing the offence in a post uploaded to the TechNave news portal at around 10am on February 10.

According to the charge sheet, Chan allegedly published a post titled 'Top 10 Sugar Baby Universiti in Malaysia' with the intention to incite fear and public anxiety in the public, at the same time abetting others to commit a criminal offence against public order.

The charge was framed under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code that covers the offence of making statements with intent to likely cause fear or alarm to the public.

A conviction could result in imprisonment for a term of not more than two years or a fine or both.

Chan entered his plea before magistrate Sabreena Bakar @ Bahari.

Lawyers T. Shashi Devan represented Chan while deputy public prosecutor Aliff Ashraf Anuar Shahruddin prosecuted.

The prosecution initially offered bail at RM100,000, arguing that the seriousness of the offence could still motivate others into using the platform and that the post has generated massive public interest.

In mitigation, Chan's lawyer argued that their client, who is also an IT entrepreneur, did not pose a flight risk and has willingly cooperated with the authorities throughout the investigations.

Sabreena then fixed bail at RM10,000 for the charge with one surety.

Chan was also ordered to surrender his passport to the court until the conclusion of his trial.

The court also fixed the case for mention on March 26.

Controversial data released by Sugarbook had claimed the majority of its users were young Malaysian varsity students which listed the spread of local institutions where these sugar babies are enrolled but also how Malaysia is home to more than 300,000 individuals offering paid companionship.

The revelation eventually led to public outrage, with many questioning and condemning the immoral and exploitative nature in the “compensated dating” promoted by the app.

Several police reports were then lodged about the claims.

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