A 30-year-old single mother from Kuala Terengganu today pleaded guilty to a charge of offering sexual services and faced punishment that included being caned by up to six strokes.
Online portal MStar reported that the woman was arrested in a hotel room by a team of enforcement officers from the Terengganu Religious Affairs Department, at about 10.45pm on Sept 17 while offering sexual services to an unidentified man.
The report said the woman, who has a daughter, pleaded guilty before Kuala Terengganu Syariah High Court judge Rosdi Harun.
A decision will be delivered on Sept 27.
She was charged under Section 25 of the Syariah Offences Enactment (Takzir) 2001 which carries a punishment of up to three years jail, a fine of up to RM5,000, caning of up to six strokes, or a combination of the three.
During mitigation, the woman pleaded for a lesser sentence as she could not afford to pay the fine.
The accused also explained that she had not been receiving any alimony from her ex-husband.
On Sept 3, two women were caned in Terengganu according to the syariah provision after they admitted to having committed same-sex relations.
The punishment was carried out in a room at the Syariah High Court, witnessed by more than 100 people including their family members, lawyers and the media.
The couple was also fined RM3,300 in lieu of four months' jail if they failed to settle the amount.
Critics including from the Bar Council had spoken against the use of corporal punishment, describing the practice of caning or whipping as cruel and outdated.
Proponents of the punishment under syariah law, including Terengganu Menteri Besar Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar, however, argued that the caning method was only meant to educate the public and not cause injury to the offender.