Sugarbook's billboard hang on street stir up controversy
Sugarbook's billboard hung on the street stirred up controversy among the community.

Malaysian police have arrested the founder of Sugarbook, a "sugar daddy" dating platform. Sugarbook matches sugar daddies to "sugar babies", or older and generally more well-off men to young women in a largely financial arrangement.

What are the meaning of the terms “sugar daddy” and “sugar baby”?

A sugar daddy is a generous older man who spends lavishly on his mistress, girlfriend or boyfriend.

He's often a businessman, who considers himself too busy for conventional dating - and isn't short of a few bob.

A sugar baby, meanwhile, is normally an attractive younger woman who can't afford her luxury lifestyle.

The couple will usually establish a financial agreement early on - as well as their boundaries, such as whether or not they're considering a sexual relationship.

According to Seeking Arrangement, the average sugar daddy is 45 years old - and earns a salary of £176,000.

While the average sugar baby rakes in £2,300-a-month ($3,300), making a comfortable annual 'salary' of £20,930 ($29,600).

Sugar babies sometimes get bad press, mainly because of the issue of sex - and how it's tied up in the financial relationship.

But the girls insist they're not the same as a prostitute or escort, and there is some truth in this.

The key difference is that a sugar daddy relationship is a regular arrangement.

What is Sugarbook online dating platform?

On its website, Sugarbook describes itself as an "industry leader in luxury dating", providing a platform "for modern relationships to form and grow".

Sugarbook is an unconventional dating site that offers to help sugarbabies and sugar daddies get together. Unfortunately it did not rank high in our reviews as our users stated they were more likely to get scammed than go on a date.

Sugarbook’s aim when being founded was to bring a sense of convenience and honesty to the dating world. Sugarbook states that their site is “Where the elite people meet and build honest and transparent relationships.” Affluent individuals from all over the world looking to spoil their potential partners now have a platform to meet.

The “Sugar Babies” on the site can join 100% free, and come from a wide range of backgrounds. Some are college students, some single moms, some aspiring actors & actresses, and others just want to live a life of luxury. Sugarbook works on an easy to use app for iOS or Android. The site is free for anyone who signs up and remains free for all the Sugar Babies.

READ MORE: Top 10 safest dating apps in 2021

Who is Sugarbook's founder?

In a post on its website, Sugarbook founder and chief executive, identified only as Darren C, said the service was a social networking platform that "builds beneficial relationships with our society's elite".

The arrest

Police arrested the 34-year old at his home in Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, at 4:30pm yesterday, not long after Chan changed the website address for his dating platform to skirt a ban and issued an apology after his company drew backlash over a data report showing that local universities were hotspots for sugar babies.

Chan is being investigated for allegedly soliciting prostitution, publishing rumors, and sharing content deemed offensive under the Communications and Multimedia Act.

Sugarbook’s Darren Chan in a February 2020 photo. Photo: Darren Chan
Sugarbook’s Darren Chan in a February 2020 photo. Photo: Darren Chan

“The suspect admitted to being the founder of Sugarbook upon his arrest,” police representative Fadzil Ahmat told reporters yesterday.

The company recently released data gathered from its website detailing the top ten universities in Malaysia where one can find sugar babies. Sunway University, which topped the list, objected to the report’s findings. Media authorities later banned the Sugarbook website, calling the report a “marketing gimmick.”

Chan established Sugarbook in 2016 and has since expanded it to other countries including Singapore, the United States, and Thailand. The “pay-to-play” dating site is a platform for sugar daddies and babies to meet.

Is Sugarbook illegal?

Dating website Sugarbook's founder and chief executive officer Darren Chan believes that it is unfair to call for the app to be banned in Malaysia. Commenting on the controversy surrounding the electronic billboards in Bangsar and Bukit Kiara, which promoted the app, Mr Chan said the app was created to provide a dating platform for women, who can choose what they want from an ideal relationship without being judged.

“In light of the public’s concern over our billboard, we hope you understand that we built Sugarbook to empower women by giving them a dating platform to choose freely what they want in an ideal relationship, without being scrutinized," he said “Women empowerment is about elevating women by increasing the capacity for them to be able to choose freely.“The keyword here is choice and Sugarbook is about providing our people that precise choice,” Mr. Chan added. Mr Chan stressed that “sugar babies” were not illegal sex workers.

Secrets of 'Sugar Daddy' Dating Platform
Sugarbook describes itself as an "industry leader in luxury dating". (Image: Facebook/Sugarbook)

Sugarbook matches sugar daddies to "sugar babies", or older and generally more well-off men to young women in a large financial arrangement.

The dating platform attracted the attention of the public and the authorities after it named 10 Malaysian public and private universities as having the most students who chose to become sugar babies and sought sugar daddies to finance their lifestyles, Free Malaysia Today news site reported.

On Tuesday, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) blocked access to the Sugarbook website for allegedly breaching the law on the use of network facilities or network services.

The industry regulator posted a notification on the website saying it had essentially violated Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

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