Malaysian sugar daddy app ‘not a vice site’

Gan Pei Ling

TheSugarBook matches affluent men or women, known as sugar daddies or sugar mummies, with often younger women or men, known as sugar babies or sugar pups. – TheSugarBook pic, January 18, 2018.

THESUGARBOOK, a home-grown online dating app that is taking Southeast Asia by storm, is not a platform for prostitution or pornography, said a spokesman for the company.

“We do not condone any illegal activity whatsoever. Any user who is suspicious or who is reported to have violated our terms and conditions will be banned,” TheSugarBook spokesman Jessica Ong told The Malaysian Insight.

She was responding to a recent China Press report that TheSugarBook could be in trouble if the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) received public complaints that the online service was being used to spread illegal content, such as pornography or images with nudity.

MCMC was quoted as saying that enforcement authorities, such as police, could also take action if prostitution, blackmail or fraud were involved.

However, the commission did not say if it had received public complaints to the effect.

Ong said moderators worked around-the-clock to ensure the profile photos submitted by subscribers adhered to company guidelines.

“We strictly do not allow any photo with nudity, violence or minors on our app.”

Lawmakers and women’s rights activists in Singapore recently expressed concern that the app was exploiting vulnerable young women, particularly undergraduates, for profit.

In its defence, Ong said TheSugarBook was a niche online social networking platform for like-minded, consenting adults to meet and develop a mutually beneficial relationship.

The site matches affluent men or women, known as sugar daddies or sugar mummies, with often younger women or men, known as sugar babies or sugar pups, who are willing to provide companionship and affection in exchange for a luxury lifestyle and the opportunity to move up the social ladder.

Surveys the company conducted since its launch in December 2016 saw some subscribers reporting that they were on a steady, exclusive relationship with the person they met via the app, Ong said.

As yet, none has reported marriage with the person met via the app.

“Our objective is to provide an innovative platform that allows people to communicate their romantic expectations in an honest and transparent manner.

“We champion freedom of choice and (the app) is designed for individuals seeking a safe space to express their needs and seek compatible partners.

“In fact, we are pro-marriage and we hope that serious relationships will stem from meeting on TheSugarBook, just like every other online dating app.” – January 18, 2018.

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