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KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — Women who wear tight and “sexy” clothing, including trousers or dresses, in Kelantan will be breaching the state’s Shariah laws that criminalise indecent attire, a report said.
The Kelantan Islamic Affairs Department (JAHEAIK) and Kota Baru Municipal Council (MPKB) could use the state law to punish those suspected of committing the Shariah offence, local daily New Straits Times’ (NST) website cited unnamed sources as confirming.
Both the JAHEAIK and MPKB have the right to act against those wearing “sexy” dresses, a source said.
He reportedly said that this was intended to spur women to cover up their “aurat” — intimate body parts which Muslims are required to cover as exposing them is considered sinful.
NST cited the source as saying that the JAHEAIK and the MPKB may, in certain operations, only warn the offenders to not repeat the offence and not issue any summonses, while women in some other cases were issued with summonses and notices to attend counselling.
According to the NST, women who wear tight or sexy attire in public places in Kelantan would be caught under Section 5 of the Kelantan Shariah Criminal Code 1985.
Under Section 5(1), any person who wilfully acts or behaves in an indecent manner which is contrary to Islamic laws in a public place will be fined a maximum RM1,000, or jailed a maximum six months or both if convicted.
The Kelantan Shariah Criminal Code says the law applies to all Muslims in Kelantan who have achieved puberty unless specified otherwise.
On Monday, a Facebook post on MPKB fining women wearing tight clothing became viral, website Says had said.
In September 2014, MPKB had launched a four-month-long operations to ensure female traders at places like night markets or supermarkets to reinforce an existing rule for them to cover up their aurat, with failure to do so punishable by a maximum RM500 compound.
A news report by Sinar Harian had in 2014 then stated that the rules for female Muslim traders and staff in Kelantan include wearing a tudung or headscarf that covers their chests, wearing long-sleeves, wearing loose-fitting pants and skirts or clothing that do not show their body shape.
Most Muslim jurists agree that the “aurat” for Muslim women towards the public include their whole bodies, except their faces and hands; while some Muslims hold the view that those who wear tight-fitting clothing that shows their body shape would be considered as exposing their aurat.
In early March 2015, MPKB said it had issued 1,000 summonses since 2014 on those who exposed their aurat or behaved indecently in public.
Following a viral incident of a man issued summonses over his shorts for futsal, the Jaheaik had last September said the summonses were meant to educate as they were only required to attend counselling sessions.