COMMENT | The act of caning two women caught for attempting same-sex relations in Terengganu is nothing short of barbaric.
There is much that we can rant and rave about in elaborating this point, but let us attempt to move quickly on to substantive questions.
The first of these is, will the Harapan government intervene, or at least prevent a recurrence of this horrific episode?
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department for Islamic Affairs Mujahid Yusof Rawa gave an extended interview in the Bahasa Malaysia edition of Malaysiakini.
In this interview, Mujahid stated quite a clear, fairly reasonable position, indicating that it is the government’s stance that anything LGBT is morally wrong, but also that the government does not have a right to interfere in the personal space of any individual.
Thus, according to Mujahid, it is for God to punish what individuals do in private, while the government will only take action if such actions are done brazenly in public, with a view to "promoting" such acts.
Many may understandably take issue with such a stance, and there is much to criticise and debate there.
However, for the sake of this article, let us take the minister’s stated policy as a given and as a starting point, and see whether this caning was justified.
Is it in accordance with federal law and policy?
There appears to have been no element whatsoever of these two women attempting anything in full public view, or with the attempt to openly promote any kind of act...