Following the passing of the Sharia Criminal Offences (Takzir) (Amendment) Enactment 2022 by the State Legislative Assembly (DUN), women acting as males, shamanism, and the practice of witchcraft will all be considered Syariah offences in Terengganu.
The revision impacted Sections 33A (women acting as males), Section 36A (preparing for sodomy), and Section 29A (pregnant or giving birth to a child out of wedlock), according to Satiful Bahari Mamat, the state’s Shariah Implementation Committee, Education and Higher Education Chairman.
Previously, he claimed, only males imitating women were subject by the law’s restrictions, not women imitating men.
“Before, there may not have been many instances of this issue (women dressing as men), but today we find cases of “pengkid” and other similar situations are growing more common, thus the state administration wishes to curb this issue,” he added, as quoted by Bernama.
He claimed that those found guilty under the section might face up to three years in prison, a fine of RM5,000, and six lashes in accordance with Section 356.
He stated, “We expect that with this modification, the welfare of Muslims, especially in Terengganu, would be better safeguarded and protected.”
In order to ensure that the Muslim community does not seek alternative care that contradicts Islamic law, a special committee will be formed under the Terengganu Religious Affairs Department. This group will be responsible for overseeing the incorporation of sections dealing with witchcraft and black magic.
He clarified, however, that violations and penalties based on the clause only apply to those who treat patients, not to the patients themselves.
In addition to the four sections, the change also affects 21 currently existing sections and will begin to be put into effect after Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu has voiced his approval.