Four non-Muslims – two men on a plane-spotting outing and a couple in a park – have been issued with summonses for khalwat.
The summonses were for “indecent behaviour” but the four have denied any wrongdoing, insisting that the municipal council enforcement officers were “merely abusing their position”.
The first case involved two men in their 30s who were in a car parked beside the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport. They claimed they were watching planes land in the night when they were issued with the summonses by these Taliban-style officers.
This writer can only deduce that Kota Baru must be so boring – the result of a ban on entertainment outlets – that the two young men have to watch planes landing at the airport for entertainment. How these officers can consider their action an offence is mind-boggling.
But we know that the PAS politicians have a great sense of imagination and can conjure up fantasies out of seemingly ordinary situations. They think that getting a haircut from a person of the opposite sex can lead to moral decay and watching concerts can lead to hedonism or excessive pleasure, whatever that means.
Malaysians know that these cranky politician-theologians also frown upon the mixed company of males and females, but two non-Muslim men being punished for being in a car together, that’s a new one. Are they telling us now that two men together can lead to immoral activities or that watching planes at the airport can be sexually arousing? Even if they had committed a “gay act”, does the council have any jurisdiction over non-Muslims?
The other case involved a 17-year-old boy and a girl aged 15. They were together at the Tengku Anis Park in the town centre, in broad daylight, when they were arrested. They were approached by the enforcement officers and issued summonses on the spot for purported indecent behaviour.
Nothing seems to be safe any more for non-Muslims in Kota Baru. You get fined for having a hair cut by a hairstylist of a different sex, you get fined for being in love and sharing private moments in a park in broad daylight, and you also get summoned for being in a wrong queue in a supermarket check-out.
Before anyone accuses this writer of filing another PAS-bashing piece, it is important to point out that the protest over the latest controversies was started by the National PAS Supporters Congress president Hu Pang Chaw, who is known for his apologist stand for the Islamist party.
Interestingly enough, Hu has also revealed that the male victims had complained to him that the officers had even sought RM500 “to settle the matter”, which means that these holier-than-thou officers were open to corruption.
Hu added that “as far as I know, the council has no right to issue summonses to non-Muslims for close contact with their girlfriends in the dark or out in the open”. But Hu shouldn’t plead ignorance now because the PAS rules have always infringed upon non-Muslims. This is not the first time and it won’t be the last.
Don’t blame PAS either because they have consistently told Malaysians that their objective is to turn Malaysia into an Islamic State. Barisan Nasional tells us that we are already an Islamic State, but they still keep intact the secular laws and the British-style courts.
But for political expediency, and for selfish political ambitions, there is now a deafening silence from allies of PAS. The only exception seems to be DAP chairman Karpal Singh, who has also consistently spoken up against the hudud laws pushed by PAS. However, his party comrades have decided to keep silent and, worse, are encouraging us to elect more PAS leaders into Parliament and the state assemblies.
It is also pertinent to note that during The Star’s interview with the Sultan of Selangor, the Tuanku had revealed that there were politicians who tried to prevent the opening of cinemas in shopping malls in Shah Alam! This is in Selangor and not even in Kelantan. We can also assume that this must be the work of PAS elected representatives.
We know for a fact that the PAS state assemblyman for Bangi, Dr Shafie Abu Bakar, has prevented a cinema from being set up by a non-Muslim, and that the Kuala Selangor PAS wants to stop unmarried couples from watching movies in a cinema there.
We are merely kidding ourselves if we think the rules by PAS do not affect non-Muslims. Despite the promised intervention by PAS’ top leaders over the hair salon ruling, nothing has changed until today.
In an interview with The Malay Mail on Friday, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang was quoted as saying “even Chinese wives don’t agree with (unisex) salons”.
He seems out of touch with reality, or pretending to be.