KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 — 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.
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.
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 police in Penang leaped into action after receiving 12 complaints.
At a news conference in George Town yesterday 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.
Speaking in Singaporean English in the Facebook interview, 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,” the Singaporean said, confirming that the event included Malaysian participants.
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”.
In the video by Yam, a group of men and women are seen in the buff outdoors, participating in an event dubbed as the “Malaysia-International Nude Sports Games 2014 Extravaganza”.
The clip lasting nearly five-and-a-half minutes, was shot on a secluded beach in a Teluk Bahang forest reserve on the northwest tip of Penang island.
The so-called “naturists” are seen frolicking in the open without any clothes on and taking part in sporting activities.
Among others, the event participants were seen racing one another in the nude, performing kettle bell exercises around a campfire and a “gangnam style horse dance” where a woman straddles a man on his back as he walks forward.
In one activity, a naked woman is seen trying to climb over three men as they lie shoulder-to-shoulder in the sand. All the activities were performed without a stitch on.
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.”