Backlash over lesbian caning temporary, says Terengganu MB

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 04 Sep 2018

KUALA TERENGGANU: The huge outcry over the caning of two women who pleaded guilty to attempting same-sex relations is temporary and will eventually blow over, said Mentri Besar Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar (pic). 

"We believe there are still some things that people have yet to understand about it and in time, they will," he said at a press conference Tuesday (Sept 4) after an event to celebrate the state's football team in winning the President's Cup. 

He added that society should look at the punishment more objectively and not be driven by emotions. 

"Look at the punishment in totality and whether or not the severity matched the crime," he said. 

After the sentence was carried out on Monday (Sept 3), netizens took to social media to voice their disapproval, with some even threatening to boycott Terengganu's economy. 

However, Dr Ahmad Samsuri defended the authorities' decision, saying they had acted in accordance to the rule of law. 

"They carried out their duties based on an existing enactment and the rule of law. 

"We cannot stop people from disagreeing with it but if they opened their minds, they will see how different it is from whipping under civil law," he said. 

On Aug 12, the Syariah High Court fined the women RM3,300 and ordered that they be caned six times each after they pleaded guilty to committing musahaqah (sexual relations between women) under Section 30 of the Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment (Takzir) (Terengganu).

The women were supposed to have been caned on Aug 28 but had their sentence postponed to Sept 3.

The punishment drew criticism from human rights groups, NGOs and a few politicians.
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