KUALA LUMPUR, April 7 — Cosmetics entrepreneur Nur Sajat Kamaruzzaman is currently hiding in Thailand, Harian Metro reported, quoting an anonymous source.
The report published yesterday, however, said that the source did not offer any details as to how the controversial figure managed to cross the border, evading authorities.
The Malay-language tabloid also quoted Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador as merely confirming Nur Sajat's current whereabouts in a “neighbouring nation”, refusing to confirm if it is indeed Thailand as claimed by the anonymous source.
“Yes, she is in a neighbouring country. I just want to advise her to return and go to court," he reportedly said.
Last week, national news agency Bernama reported that photographs of Nur Sajat were distributed to border control enforcers as early as last month in order to thwart possible attempts by the entrepreneur to abscond from the country.
General Operations Force (PGA) Northern Brigade’s deputy commander Assistant Commissioner Mohd Noh Khamis was quoted as saying photographs of the entrepreneur were distributed at security checkpoints along the border, but have yet to receive positive leads into her whereabouts.
“There might even be attempts to disguise [as someone else] to avoid being detected by the authorities. So we will continue the strict controls at the security checkpoints,” Mohd Noh was quoted as saying in the report.
This comes after Bukit Aman Criminal Investigations Department director Commissioner Datuk Huzir Mohamed said yesterday that the police were looking into the possibility of Nur Sajat having absconded overseas after the authorities announced that they were attempting to track her down in February.
Huzir said this is after the police received “certain reports” claiming she had gone overseas.
The entrepreneur is being sought by the authorities after she missed a Shariah Court hearing date in February this year concerning a case brought against her almost three years ago.
Sajat’s absence from proceedings then triggered a search party by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais), who had said they empowered 122 personnel and enforcement officers to find and arrest Nur Sajat.
On March 1, the police stated their readiness to assist in the search for Nur Sajat and were subsequently roped in to join the hunt upon a request by Jais.
The Shariah Court charge against Nur Sajat was made under Section 10(a) of the Shariah Crimes (State of Selangor) Enactment 1995 which provides for a sentence not exceeding RM5,000 or imprisonment not exceeding three years or both, if convicted.
Section 10 refers to the Shariah offence of insulting Islam or causing Islam to be insulted either by mocking or blaspheming the faith and its associated practices and rituals either in a written, pictorial or photographic form.
The charges were allegedly connected to a religious event that she organised in 2018 where she appeared in a baju kurung.
Nur Sajat had through an Instagram Live broadcast recently denied she is evading capture by the authorities but was instead keeping a low profile on social media.
Nur Sajat has been the subject of intense scrutiny by the authorities and some members of the public over her gender identity.
Most recently, she had posted on her social media that she is considering renouncing Islam, ostensibly due to the persecution and attacks she faces from religious authorities and the Muslim public.