BANGI: Two women who were canned publicly in Terengganu after they were caught engaging in same sex relations were given 14 days to appeal, but did not do so.
The state Syariah High Court had ordered the punishment to take place in front of 100 witnesses.
“I was made to understand that they admitted they had committed an offence under the enactment involving offences involving same sex relations committed by women. They were given 14 days to appeal but did not,” said Minister in Prime Minister’s Department (Islamic Affairs) Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, here, today.
“I was also made to understand that the method of the caning followed Islamic standards and was not painful.”
“I was made to understand that they admitted they had committed an offence under the enactment involving offences involving same sex relations committed by women. They were given 14 days to appeal but did not,” said Minister in Prime Minister’s Department (Islamic Affairs) Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa (Insert) at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, here, today. Pic by NSTP/ZAMAN HURI ISA and GHAZALI KORI
On whether the law was too harsh and should be scrapped, he said Syariah law was the prerogative of the states, Malay rulers and religious bodies.
On the humiliating nature of the canning, as 100 people were allowed to attend the process, he said it had to be seen whether the legal provisions allowed for members of the public to attend the punishment.
“But, for me, that is a technicality that should be brought to debate,” Mujahid added.
He had earlier said that as long as the process and provisions were adhered to, the sanctity of the law had to be respected.
“Even in other cases they will follow the enactment’s provisions and the same process where they will be given the right to defend themselves and the law will be allowed to take its course rather than us making assumptions.
“All this is done for the good of society as Muslims know that such acts are banned altogether and for me it’s not to hurt but to remind, advise and reprimand so that society goes back to way of life that the religion upholds.”
On Aug 11, Mujahid said a much talked about meeting with a transgender advocate Nisha Ayub did not touch on equal rights for same-sex marriage, but the discrimination faced by the community.
Responding to a question from Senator Dr Mohd Nor Monutty, Mujahid said the Pakatan Harapan government had never recognised the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community and was not trying to rehabilitate them in Parliament.
He said all parties should stop slandering the government on the issue. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd