The combination of a highly-criticised Patreon campaign and leaked screenshots of private conversations have forced Malaysian bodybuilder Lai Wee Kiat to step down as the founder of SGInstaBabes, an Instagram account claiming to be “Singapore’s most popular babe page”.
The since-deleted account claimed to have 42,000 followers and regularly posted photos and videos of skimpily clad women dancing and posing.
The account recently came under fire for a campaign on Patreon – the creative community’s version of Kickstarter – requesting donations to produce “better” photos and videos of the account’s “beautiful models” and “social media icons”.
Netizens have accused the campaign’s questionable selection of perks as a front for sex, including giving donors access to the girls’ personal videos, private parties in the girls’ company, and – perhaps creepiest of all – the right to look on during photoshoots and take pictures.
Much of the backlash also stems from the revelation that a number of girls involved in the campaign are aged just 15 or 16.
Founder Lai – who is also a fitness coach and the winner of Mr Kuala Lumpur 2013 – later said that that there would be no sex involved with donors, only “partying and fun”.
“I do believe it is a girl’s right if she wants to be sexy, and she shouldn’t be shamed for it”, he wrote in a public message on Instagram Live.
While the campaign has almost reached its first goal of 100 supporters, the legitimacy of this success is questionable, as screenshots of Lai instructing the girls to pose as fake donors were obtained, and then posted to Instagram, by radio DJ Dee Kosh.
After blogger Xiaxue also obtained and posted screenshots of Whatsapp conversations showing Lai pressuring women into bikini shoots and making inappropriate comments toward underage girls, the founder said he was stepping down and would no longer be involved in SGInstaBabes’ activities.
Both Lai’s personal account and the SGInstaBabes account have since been deleted off Instagram.