Construction worker first khalwat convict sentenced to whipping

KUALA TERENGGANU – A construction worker became the first khalwat (close proximity) offender in Terengganu to be sentenced to caning by the Terengganu Syariah High Court here today.

Syarie Judge Hamidi Shafie meted out the sentence on Mohd Affendi Awang, 42, who pleaded guilty to the charge, under Section 31 (a) of the Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment (Takzir) (Terengganu) Amendment 2022 which came into force last Jan 1.

Judge Hamidi ordered Mohd Affendi to be caned four times and fined RM3,000, in default six months in jail, for the offence, with the whipping sentence to be carried out within 14 days from today, if there is no appeal.

Mohd Affendi pleaded guilty to being with a woman in her 30s who is not his wife or “mahram”  between 1.10am and 2.15am last Jan 25 on the third floor of a premises that was undergoing renovation in the Kemaman district.

The whipping sentence was imposed on Mohd Affendi as it was his second offence. He was fined in July last year for a similar offence.

Based on the Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment (Takzir) (Terengganu) Amendment 2022, a person convicted of khalwat for the second and subsequent times can be punished with up to six whipping, a fine of up to RM5,000 or three years in prison.

In his judgement, Hamidi said the punishment meted out on Mohd Affendi was also intended to serve as a lesson for him and the society.

“That’s why the whipping sentence meted out in the Syariah Court and the civil court is different. In the civil court, on the surface, it looks like punishment, while in the Syariah Court, the caning is lighter to serve as a lesson.

“It is hoped that it can also be a lesson to Mohd Affendi not to repeat it since this is the second offence,” he said.

The prosecution was handled by Syarie prosecutor Muhamad Khasmizan Abdullah, while Mohd Affendi was unrepresented. – BERNAMA / pic TMR FILE