Wednesday January 2, 2013
Eight couples detained for ‘khalwat’ during anti-vice operation
By sharon ling
KUCHING: Eight couples have been detained for khalwat (close proximity) at various locations in the city during an anti-vice operation on New Year’s Day.
State Islamic Department (Jais) senior enforcement officer Kassim Yusop said the operation codenamed Ops Tahun Baru was carried out jointly with the police, the Immigration and Customs departments, Kuching North City Commission and Kuching South City Council in the wee hours of the morning.
He said the couples were picked up from several budget hotels and had been brought to the Jais office for further investigations.
One of those detained tried to evade detection by climbing into a water tank, where he hid for about half an hour before being discovered by the enforcement personnel.
“The operation went well as those detained did not react negatively but were cooperative. Operations like this are an ongoing effort and will be carried out from time to time,” he told reporters after the operation.
About 20 personnel were involved in the operation, which was carried out in Kota Sentosa, Jalan BDC, Sekama and Petra Jaya areas.
Kassim said those detained were aged in the 20s to 40s and included students and civil servants.
He said those found guilty of khalwat under the Syariah Criminal Offences Ordinance 2001 faced a fine of up to RM3,000 or two years’ jail.
He also advised people not to be involved in social ills or to take advantage of public holidays to hang out in suspicious areas.