"KUALA LUMPUR, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- The government of Malaysia's resort island of Penang proposed Thursday stiffer penalties, including caning, for Muslims for criminal offenses under proposed amendments to religious laws.
Mohd Shariff Omar, the island's State Religious Affairs Committee chairman, said the amendments would make the laws more comprehensive to suit the changing times.
"The law will apply to all Muslims, regardless of whether they are locals or from Bangladesh, Pakistan or Indonesia,'' he said.
The foreigners are mostly workers employed in Malaysia's construction, plantation and manufacturing businesses.
He said caning would be imposed for criminal offenses such as prostitution, incest, adultery, pimping and homosexual activities."
With respect to both the imposition of caning as a means of punishment generally and (for readers of this site specifically) as a means of punishing "homosexual activities" and thereby violating the basic human rights of gay and lesbian persons resident in Penang, may I suggest that correspondence be directed to the following protesting the punishment of same-sex relations as a criminal offense and the use of caning, seen generally as a form of torture under applicable international law, as the punishment applied.
Dr. Mohd Shariff Omar. Chairman
Penang State Religious Affairs Committee
Government of Penang
State Assembly Building
George Town, Penang
Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed
The Prime Minister
Jalan Dato Onn
Embassy of Malaysia
2401 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC USA 20008