Jais under fire for wrongful arrest, abuse of power

04 Jul 2014 / 18:06 H.

PETALING JAYA: The Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) is under fire again for alleged "abuse of power" and "wrongful arrest" of three women and a man for close-proximity (khalwat) while they were shifting house last month.
The four, two of whom are students, have denied committing the offence and have taken Jais officers to task for wrongfully arresting them and demanding RM3,000 each, which is a maximum fine for the offence.
Upon seeking legal advise, they demanded that Jais withdraw the charge immediately and apologise for the shame its officers have caused them.
Hanisha Abd Rahman, 29, and two of her housemates who wished to only be named as Idah, 19, and Siti, 21, were hauled up for close-proximity with Muhammad Mukamil, 22, who was their transporter at the trio's new residence at Salak Tinggi.
Hanisah said the three of them were cleaning the house upon arriving home from work, while Muhammad Mukamil, who is an airport limo driver, was standing outside the house when two Jais officers arrived at the location.
"How can this be khalwat? Muhammad Mukamil sends and fetches us from work at KLIA2 everyday.
"He came to help us shift and clean that time and when the Jais officers came, he was standing outside the gate," she told a press conference at the Lawyers for Liberty office today.
Hanisah said two officers, Alfian Ahmad and Mohd Zulfadli Mohd Noor, demanded for their identity cards upon arriving, said they were being arrested for Khalwat and asked them to go to the police station.
Lawyer Latheefa Koya, also present at the press conference, said Hanisah has lodged a police report against two Jais officers for the wrongful arrest and abuse of power demanding a fine of RM3,000 each, before they were even convicted.
"We demand Jais to withdraw the charge and apologise, failing which we will file a legal suit against Jais," she said.
Explaining the incident which took place on June 22, Latheefa said after Jais lodged the police report, all four were released and were told to present themselves at the Jais headquarters in Shah Alam on June 23 with a guarantor and RM3,000 each.
They were told that they have committed Khalwat, an offence under Section 29 of the Shariah Criminal Offences (Selangor) Enactment 1995.
"Jais had told them that a court date would be fixed in December and instructed us to bring RM3,000 each to settle the issue," she said.
Latheefa also slammed Jais officers for concluding it was Khalwat after monitoring them only for five minutes before charging them for the offence. She pointed out that it was clear abuse of power by Jais and the four were not informed of their rights.
"The incident occurred in front of their neighbours. The victims have been humiliated and shamed in public.
"It does not make sense. This is not the right way to prevent vice; the whole process is flawed," she said.
Slamming both Jais and the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) for being under fire for several cases, Latheefa said the entire procedures have to be revamped.
"They have review their ways of handling matters.
"Jais has turned into a bunch of snoopers, trying to find and shame people. This is not the way to stop vice," she reiterated.
She said Jais officers have gone knocking on people's doors to find out what was going on inside but have left all the big fish go scot-free.
Latheefa also said Jais had misused the enactment and does not reflect the Islamic teachings or principles in their enforcements.
"Why does Jais always pick on vulnerable people? Why is it they do not go into luxury hotels and arrest the influential people?" Latheefa questioned.


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