Hotels cannot stop raids by religious authorities, says spokesman


PETALING JAYA: Hotels are obligated to comply with religious authorities during khalwat (close proximity) raids, but cannot disclose the personal information of guests, including which rooms they are in, according to the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH).

Speaking to FMT, MAH president Cheah Swee Hee said hotels had to comply with the religious authorities when the latter carried out a raid on a room.

“We cannot obstruct them from carrying out their duties.

“Also, the religious authorities are usually acting on tip-offs of something taking place in a specific room,” he said, referring to the issue of khalwat raids.

The issue has been highlighted again following the death of a policeman who had leapt to his death in a bid to escape a raid by religious authorities recently.

Cheah said the raiding party would then inform the hotel management which room they intended to raid and the hotel security would only escort them to the room.

“The religious authorities would then knock on the door and ask to be let in, and more often than not, the guests would comply. Hotels are not allowed to open the door for the religious authorities.”

However, Cheah stressed that hotels were also bound by the Personal Data Protection Act 2010 (PDPA) to protect the personal information of guests.

“This means that religious authorities cannot ask the hotels who is staying in a certain room or which room is a person staying in. We cannot disclose such information.

“The religious authorities also cannot go knocking door to door,” Cheah said.

He related how in the past, the police would accompany the religious authorities, but nowadays, he noticed that the religious authorities did not have any police personnel accompanying them during a raid.

Yesterday, Berita Harian reported that a policeman from the Bukit Jalil police station died after he jumped from the fourth floor of an apartment in Cheras, in a bid to escape a raid by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais).

It was also reported that in Puchong Perdana, another policeman was hurt after he too tried to evade a raid by Jais. The identity of the injured policeman remains unknown and he is reportedly in critical condition.