‘Khalwat’ issue: Case could be tip of the iceberg


Indecent charge: The summons which the Kota Baru Municipal Council enforcement officers issued to non-Muslims recently. 

(The Star) – PETALING JAYA: The case of the four non-Muslims who were hauled up for “khalwat” in Kota Baru, Kelantan, could just be the tip of an iceberg, says PAS Supporters Congress head Hu Pang Chaw.

“There could be more of such cases in which the rights of non-Muslims have been violated, but not revealed,” he said.

“The couples involved were non-Muslims. And, the enforcement officers were subjective in issuing the summonses from an Islamic stand. This is not fair,” he was quoted as saying by China Press.

Citing an example on the overzealous enforcement, Hu, a former councillor, said a billboard advertisement by an electrical appliance shop was taken down for containing “indecent images”.

“It was a picture of a woman covering a man’s eyes from behind,” he said. “No action was taken against the shop but the billboard was taken down anyway.”

Throughout the 22 years of PAS rule in Kelantan, Hu said the Islamic policies implemented by the party had affected and inconvenienced non-Muslims.

He pointed out that Chinese support for PAS would be affected if the state government failed to resolve such issues.

“As party supporters, we are only giving opinions as we know better what the non-Muslims want,” he said.

Asked on Friday about certain PAS leaders’ overzealousness in implementing Islamic policies, Hu said he was disheartened by their actions.

“Some have overstepped what’s allowed in terms of religion to defend the party struggle. They have not been looking into what the non-Muslims want,” he added.

Sin Chew Daily quoted a relative saying that there were several cars parked in the area where the two men were issued with the summonses. There were other families and couples there.

He said the duo denied any wrongdoing and they would not pay the fine.

Meanwhile, Kelantan Chinese Assembly Hall president Oie Poh Choon has called on the Kota Baru Municipal Council to show evidence that the two men caught in a car near the airport were acting indecently.

“Even if they were, an advice would have been sufficient,” Oei said.

“But if the council wants to fine them, they had better produce evidence.”

He also urged the council to monitor its “problematic” enforcement officers.

Kelantan Gerakan Vice-Youth chief Ong Khang Woon concurred, saying that evidence was crucial and the two could ignore the fine.

“While the law is all black and white, the problem lies with such enforcement officers,” he said.