In case you didn’t know, it is actually a crime in Malaysia to entice a married woman with the intention of having sexual relations with her.
Now, a former policeman, Azri Awang, who was convicted of the offence is seeking to challenge the law as unconstitutional.
Azri, 31 said the provision under Section 498 of the Penal Code is in breach of Articles 5(1) and 8(1) of the Federal Constitution which states that no person shall be deprived of his or her life or personal liberty save in accordance with the law including that all persons are equal before the law and entitled to equal protection of the law.
In an initial summons submitted at the High Court in Seremban in July, he claimed that the offence violated his personal freedom and only targeted men.
Under Section 498 of the Malaysian Penal Code, it states that:
Whoever takes or entices away any woman who is and whom he knows, or has reason to believe, to be the wife of any other man, from that man, or from any person having the care of her on behalf of that man, with intent that she may have illicit intercourse with any person, or conceals, or detains with that intent any such woman, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both.
Since the clause constituted pre-independence law, Azri requests that the court invalidate it or change it in accordance with Articles 162(7) and 162(8).
The government, who is the respondent, has requested to have the lawsuit dismissed on the basis that a competent court has already rendered a decision in the issue.
Azri’s attorney, P Purshotaman, stated that his client will submit an affidavit in response to the motion for striking out.
On November 3, 2019, Azri was accused of the crime in the Kuala Terengganu magistrates’ court. The magistrate gave him a six-month prison term and an RM3,500 fine on March 6 of this year. The sentence has been suspended, while a High Court appeal is ongoing.
He committed the offence in Kuala Terengganu between Nov 25, 2016 and June 17, 2018.
During the hearing at the Kuala Terengganu magistrates’ court, Azri made an application to refer the constitutionality of the offence to the High Court, however, his application was dismissed by the court.
On Feb 25 this year, he filed a revision at the Kuala Terengganu High Court against the magistrate’s decision.
On May 9, the High Court dismissed the application, and Azri filed an appeal to the Court of Appeal.
The last time this kind of offence made headlines was in 2009 when Daphne Iking’s ex-husband accused a company executive of seducing her.