Kelantan considers public caning for adulterers

The PAS-led Kelantan state government is considering carrying out public canings on convicted Muslim adulterers to serve as a strong deterrent to others who might want to live a life of sin.

Chairperson of the state’s Committee on Islamic Development, Outreach, Information and Regional Communication, Mohd Nassuruddin Daud told Bernama that the state administration feels public caning would be a positive step in dissuading the general public from committing adultery. 

“Thus far we’ve carried out canings privately, within the confines of prisons,” he said. 

“If these punishments are carried out in a public space, they might frighten others from committing the same sin.”

Adultery, or zina, is a heavy offence under Islamic legal principles. Kelantan Syariah ordinances currently proscribe a maximum jail term of three years, a fine of no more than RM5,000, and six strokes of the cane (in a lockup facility) for the offence of adultery. 

“Regardless, the state government will conduct studies on the matter first before decicing on any course of action,” Nassuruddin added. 

The policy shift towards public caning was advocated by Tawang MP Hassan Mahmood, who said that Kelantan could move caning punishments from behind pirson walls to a public space after the satte government separated the Department of Syariah Prosecution from the Islamic Religiou Affairs Department last year. 

Deputy Menteri Besar, Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah said public caning was not part of PAS’s push for Islamic hudud law. 

“This is not even considered hudud yet, as only six strokes of the cane does not fulfil hudud criteria,” he said. 

Amar added that there would need to be more discussions on the matter on the state exco level before any decisions would be made. 

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