Thursday, April 06, 2006

What is indecent behaviour?

Yesterday, in my posting Facts, Fallacy, Fabrication, Fornication, F-up! I asserted that kissing & hugging were expressions of affection, and asked where was the indecency that the federal court judge claimed as justification to charge the young Chinese Malaysian couple.

Today in Malaysiakini Bar Council chairperson Yeo Yang Poh asked the same KTemoc-ish question.

Yeo said it’s wrong for the authority to invoke a law purporting to regulate decency in a way that in fact a major segment of Malaysians find unreasonable and ridiculous. Absolutely!

Yeo said: “Showing affection by holding hands, hugging and kissing is already common in our cinemas and television.”

And may KTemoc say too, in our society for, as far as I know, the last 30 years or so.

Yeo asked where was the crime when the couple did not threaten society though some may find their action inappropriate.

He added that most people would understand what decency is without the need of a law to spell it out. Besides, questions of morality or decency can often become a subjective issue.

Yeo stated “This is surely insufficient reason to criminalise such conduct. Many Malaysians do not want to be hypocritical and see a person taken to penal task for something that we know in our hearts is well within the permissible limits of conduct in the 21st century.”

Apart from hypocrisy, the root cause that Yeo obviously didn’t spell out is that it’s a form of proselytization by the authorities.

First, there was such a relatively new law based on perceived Islamic values but born out of the internecine war between UMNO and PAS.

Second, 2 city hall officers made a subjective assessment that the couple were behaving indecently, where I would like to question the training they received, and also examine more closely the counter-accusation that they were extorting from the couple with the threat to book them for indecent behaviour.

Third and the most disappointing of all, a federal court judge based his verdict on his personal sense of morality which most Malaysians today do not share. His values are not our values. There are millions of Malaysians who do not consider kissing and hugging in a park indecent at all.


  1. This whole issue is larger than either kissing or hugging, it is about the separation of religion and state power.

    The bottom line is basically, its IMPOSSIBLE for state to regulate morality and indecency. People must want it, must be part of it. Its about society i.e, relationship between ourselves and not the government. The more the goverment plays a role, the more we are not a society, we don't want anything to do with each other. That is the danger, the real deep fissure between ourselves which we already have more than enough

  2. Sad that a court decision is made based on some religious slant.
    Holding and kissing a love one is now a crime. Shouting in the wee hours of the morning is not an offence,divorcing thru sms is acceptable by them.,there you have it my friend,Malaysia is what it is.,they are never wrong,the 'others' are perpetually wrong-no questions!!!

  3. c'mon ali, "sex under the coconut tree at the Shah Alam lake"?

    let's not get carried away with acts beyond 'kissing & hugging', the issue under discussion. Not intending to be boastful, bashful shy KTemoc have to confess that I've kissed and hugged under trees, at Bkt Dumbar and Gurney Drive.

    see my previous posting on Wednesday titled "Facts, Fallacy, Fabrication, Fornication, F-up!"

  4. What do you think if we, young couples hold a mass kissing and hugging per se in a park? How many would want to turn up to this event?
    We cannot just sit and watch the Islamization of the nation to take place.
    We need to play our role to stop the re write of the Federal Constitution before it is too late. What do you think?

  5. did you say "young couples"? alamak, don't cut out the experienced kissers and huggers as well. But jolly good idea.