New Straits Times

Don’t make an issue out of man slapped with notice for wearing shorts, say Malaysian religious authorities

Religious affairs group calls for the case not to be manipulated to cause conflict

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 October, 2017, 4:25pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 October, 2017, 4:26pm

By Sharifah Mahsinah Abdullah

The Kelantan Islamic Affairs Religious Department in Malaysia has urged all quarters to stop making an issue out of the recent case where a man was asked to attend counselling for wearing shorts in public.

Its director Datuk Che Mohd Rahim Jusoh said the ruling, which was implemented since 1985, was more about encouraging Muslims to dress properly and to create awareness among teenagers on the need to observe their ‘aurat’.

“This ruling, which was enforced since the time of Barisan Nasional’s rule, applies only to Muslims. Non-Muslims need not worry about it.

“Therefore, I would like to call on certain parties not to turn the matter into a big issue or try to create conflict among Muslims and non-Muslims in Kelantan,” he told reporters after meeting with a group of Pas Supporters Congress (DHPP) at his office today.

DHPP was represented by the state’s chairman Lim Guan Seng.

On the case, Mohd Rahim said the man was expected to attend the session next week along with 71 others who were issued with similar notices during a special operation on September 25.

“The 72 people, including several women were issued with the notices to attend the counselling session at the department on October 12.

“If they failed to do so, they can be fined under the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment,” he said, adding that a total of 85 individuals have been issued with such notices since early this year.

Out of the 85, he said two women were fined between RM500 (US$118) and RM800 (US$189) by the court for failing to attend the counseling session.

Meanwhile, Lim said DHPP decided to visit the department today to get a clear picture over the ruling to understand the issue which went viral on social media and attempt by certain quarters to manipulate it.

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