STOMPers and netizens expressed concerns after coming across pictures of a girl posing nude on St John's Island. According to lawyers, the model and her photographer may get into trouble as taking part in an outdoor nude photoshoot is against the law.
STOMPer SkinnyLatte wrote:
"I read with much interest the controversy surrounding the nude photoshoot that took place on St John's Island.
"While I'm not against nude photography for artistic purposes, the shoot should not have taken place on a public beach. The photographer could have rented a private studio or something.
"Photographers are free to shoot whatever they want, as long as it does not bother or offend others."
According to a news report, a local freelance photographer has accused the nude model's photographer of breaking the law by taking nude shots in public via comments on his facebook page. The freelance photographer also accused the other photographer of sleeping with and behaving inappropriately with several models he has worked with.
The 'inappropriate behaviour' includes touching the models during photoshoots and shaving the pubic hair of one of the girls.
In retaliation, the nude model, who sides with her photographer, filed a police report against the freelance photographer, saying he had no permission to distribute her nude photo online. Her photographer also made police report against the freelance photographer for defamation.
However, the nude model and her photographer may indeed have broken the law. Lawyer Vijay Kumar says taking part in an outdoor nude photoshoot is against the law.
Section 27A of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act states that it is an offence for a person to appear nude in a public place. If convicted, there will be a fine of up to $2,000 or jail of up to three months or both.
Mr Vijay said there is no need for a complainant: "If the police know about it, that is good enough."
Mr Vijay added that it is possible that the photographer has committed an offence under the Penal Code. Section 292 of the Penal Code states that whoever "distributes, transmits by electronic means, publicly exhibits or in any manner puts into circulation... any obscene book, pamphlet, paper, drawing, painting, representation or figure, or any other obscene object" shall be punished with up to three months' jail and/or a fine.
The lawyer said: "In Singapore, nudity is considered obscene because we are a conservative society."
Another lawyer, Steven Lam, thinks nude photography is illegal under the Undesirable Publications Act.
Section 11 of the Act covers anyone who "makes or reproduces, or makes or reproduces for the purposes of sale, supply, exhibition or distribution to any other person... any obscene publication knowing or having reasonable cause to believe the publication to be obscene.
The Act considers a publication to be obscene if it could "deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it."
If convicted, the maximum penalty is a fine of $10,000 an/or two years' jail.