Trouble getting over the rainbow

Opinion  |  Fa Abdul
Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | The two Muslim women who were caught being intimate inside a car recently were convicted in the Kuala Terengganu Syariah High Court and publicly caned.

The case compelled human rights activists and many Malaysians to react with outrage. Some of the choice comments from netizens include:

"Appalled by this grave violation of human rights,” "Sexual acts between two consenting adults should not be criminalised,” “Public caning is one of the most degrading, cruel forms of sentencing,” “Caning is far from modern civilised laws. Are we going backwards to the medieval era?”

First of all, just to be clear, I'd like to state that I am against all kinds of discrimination (including against the LGBT community), and against all forms of corporal punishment (including caning).

However, as I dwell on the case and read about people’s opinions on news portals and social media, I am confused as to why people are so upset over the couple being caned for wanting to make love in the car.

You see, indecent behaviour in public has been an offence in Malaysia for donkey’s years. Couples have been prosecuted for being 'intimate' in parked cars, on the balconies of their homes and behind the bushes of public parks. I don’t think I need to trouble myself quoting specific examples here, as I am sure they are all just a click away....

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