Age is just a number: 73 year-old man climbs house ceiling during raid by religious authorities in Kelantan

Photo courtesy of JAHEAIK
Photo courtesy of JAHEAIK

Does everything look better from such great heights? Not really, but it sure does look more dangerous – especially if you’re a 73-year-old.

A 73-year-old man climbed the ceiling of a house more than one meter high in Kelantan to avoid being arrested by the Kelantan Islamic Religious Affairs Department (JAHEAIK) who were conducting Ops Banteras to prevent “immorality” in conjunction with Malaysia Day last Friday. 

However, the old man’s effort was shortlived after he was caught by members of JAHEAIK’s Syariah Law Enforcement Division (BPUS) when he was arrested at 11:45pm for cohabiting with a woman at her house in Kota Bharu. 

Like Miley Cyrus sings it in ‘The Climb’, “… always gonna be an uphill battle, sometimes I’m gonna have to lose…” The battle here being cohabiting outside marriage which is “immoral” in Malaysia, of course. 

When questioned, the man claimed he went to the woman’s house to collect her house rent. 

Maybe they were role-playing, like America’s infamous ‘pizza delivery boy’ if you get what we are talking about. 

The Chief Assistant Director of JAHEAIK’s Sharia Law Enforcement Division, Mohd Fadzuli Mohd Zain said during the raid, his team was greeted by a woman before they continued with the inspection and found an elderly man climbing the ceiling of the house. 

“The couple was then detained for further investigation,” he said.

“The operation will continue from time to time and the community is advised not to engage in immoral acts,” he said.

He said they were detained for investigation in accordance with Section 50 of the Syariah Criminal Code Enactment Bill (1) 2019.

Late last year, the Kelantan state legislative assembly passed the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment 2019, which human rights defenders in the country have accused of encroaching on personal liberties and victimising minorities there.

Coming into force on November 21, 2021, the new enactment has increased the number of acts that it deems as criminal under the Shariah code — containing 68 sections altogether, an addition of 33 sections from the previous version passed in 1985.

The enactment also provides for harsher penalties for several acts, listing the maximum possible punishment of RM5,000 fine, three years of imprisonment, and/or six lashes of the cane.

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