Report needed before probe can start on gay sex confession, says shariah lawyer

Shariah lawyer Hamid Ismail.

KOTA KINABALU: A shariah lawyer here has backed a call from PAS for Islamic authorities in Sabah to act against a man who admitted to having same-sex intercourse in a viral video but pointed out that someone has to file a complaint first.

Hamid Ismail, however, doubted whether anyone had the will to do so and questioned if those with authority were willing to take action even if a report is lodged.

Although offences of carnal intercourse and sodomy are covered under federal law, he believes PAS’ suggestion has its merits.

“The real questions in my mind are, first, will a report be lodged and, second, does the Sabah Islamic Affairs Department (JHEAINS) have the courage to investigate it?

“And thirdly, will the case go to shariah court? As far as I know, JHEAINS has never prosecuted offences of this nature. I doubt it has the capability to effectively bring a criminal charge of this kind in the shariah court,” he told FMT.

PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man had earlier today urged the Sabah shariah court to bring charges against the man who confessed to having gay sex, as seen in video clips that have gone viral since yesterday.

Tuan Ibrahim was referring to a video confession by Muhammad Haziq Aziz, who named a minister as his sex partner in the clips which have been making the rounds on WhatsApp.

In the video, Haziq, who is the private secretary to Deputy Primary Industries Minister Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin, named a senior federal minister as the person seen engaging in homosexual acts with him.

He also claimed the viral sex clips were recorded without his permission on May 11 at Hotel Four Points in Sandakan, during the recent by-election.

Hamid said a Muslim man who committed oral sex with another man or committed an act of liwat (sodomy) in Sabah is liable for shariah criminal prosecution for offences under Sections 76 or 82 of the Sabah Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment 1995.

Section 76 states that whoever has sexual intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be liable to takzir (punishment) and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding RM5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to caning not exceeding six strokes or to any combination of such punishment.

As for Section 82, it says any male person who wilfully commits an act of liwat shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding RM5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both.

Hamid said to commence the proceedings, any person aware of the commission of the offence could provide such information to the nearest religious enforcement officer or police officer.

He said the report must be in writing and the investigation procedure under Section 55 of the enactment must be complied with.

“Thus, it is up to any person to lodge the report with JHEAINS enforcement team in Sandakan or the nearest office,” he said.

He opined, however, that JHEAINS may choose to proceed with a probe since the matter has become viral nationally.