KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 — The Federal Territories Islamic Department (JAWI) has admitted it cannot pursue the three Malay girls shown embracing Korean pop stars in a recent viral video, despite previously saying it would seek their arrests for public indecency.
JAWI director Paimuzi Yahya confirmed today that the girls have not turned themselves in as directed and that the religious authority’s one-week deadline for them to do so has since lapsed.
“There is nothing we (JAWI) can do. Nothing.
“If they turn up, we can give them advice. But if they don’t, and for now, they have not turned up, we cannot do anything,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted here.
Paimuzi also conceded that JAWI has no legal authority to compel the girls, who remain unidentified, to come forward to aid in the department’s investigation.
“They have not come here, so we feel that perhaps they (the girls) have been advised by other people,” the JAWI official added.
Following the furore over the online video, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) directed JAWI to take action against those involved.
JAWI subsequently said it would investigate the three Malay girls for public indecency and outraging Muslims, under Section 29 of Shariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territories) Act 1997.
Section 29 of the Act allows for a fine of up to RM1,000 and imprisonment of no more than six months upon conviction.
Last Monday, Utusan Malaysia had quoted Paimuzi as saying that the religious body will apply for an arrest warrant if the Malay girls allegedly “molested” by the band members refuse to cooperate with its investigation and do not turn themselves in.
The controversy erupted after a video of the meet-the-fans session here for K-pop band B14A recently was uploaded online, prompting thousands of angry Facebook users to share and comment on a three-minute viral video of the artists hugging and embracing the Malay girls on stage.
The clip, which was posted on the Sukan Star TV Facebook page, was suggestively titled “Perempuan melayu dicabul atas pentas oleh mat kpop semalam” (Malay girls molested on stage by K-Pop artists last night).