Khalwat? We were just moving house, say arrested M'sians

This article is more than 12 months old

Four people arrested last month in Malaysia by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) are demanding an apology and insisting that the charges against them be dropped.

They are accused of khalwat, which carries a fine of up to RM3,000 (S$1,173).

Khalwat means close proximity between an unmarried male and female Muslim suspected of engaging in immoral activity in an enclosed surrounding, according to Malay Mail Online.

The four claim that the arrest in Salak Tinggi happened while Ms Hanisha Abdul Rahman, 30, was moving house on June 22.

They say the man was outside the house while two women were inside and Ms Hanisha was at the door.

Cleaning the house

Ms Hanisah said she and her two housemates, known only as  Idah, 19, and Siti, 21​, were cleaning the house upon arriving home from work, and that Muhammad Mukamil, an airport limo driver, was outside the house when two Jais officers arrived.

The Star Online reported her as saying: "How can this be khalwat? Muhammad Mukamil sends and fetches us from work at KLIA2 every day."

She said: "He came to help us shift and clean that time and when the Jais officers came, he was standing outside the gate."

Abuse of power

Their lawyer Latheefa Koya said the Jais had abused its power and that the four were not read their rights.

The Malaysian Insider reported her as saying: "The incident occurred in front of their neighbours, the victims have been humiliated and shamed in public."

Said the lawyer: "It does not make sense. This is not the right way to prevent vice.”

The Jais officers apparently observed the four for just five minutes before making the arrest.

The lawyer said a police report has been filed against the two Jais officers involved.

Sources: The Malaysian Insider, The Star Online, Malay Mail Online, The Sun Daily