‘Five months’ jail for hugging girlfriend excessive’

April 29th, 2008 - 2:21 pm ICT by admin  

Kuala Lumpur, April 29 (IANS) A high court judge in Malaysia has ruled that sentencing a person to five months in jail for hugging his girlfriend was “excessive”. Justice Abdul Rahim Uda allowed a 29-year-old rubber tapper’s appeal that his jail sentence be reduced and ordered him to be fined RM1,500 (approx. $ 450) instead.

“They were boyfriend and girlfriend. The five months jail sentence is excessive. Because of this, no one will dare to date our young women,” he said in his order Monday.

Mohamed Roslan Zainal had appealed after being convicted for outraging the modesty of his then 19-year-old girlfriend, The Sun newspaper reported.

He had hugged her on a beach when the two were taking refuge under a tree from the rain. The girlfriend struggled and fled.

She then complained to her brother who lodged a report against him for outraging the modesty of a woman.

Zainal pleaded guilty to the offence and was jailed to five months by a lower court last Dec 3. He obtained a stay of execution pending his appeal against the conviction and sentence.

The High Court upheld his conviction of outraging the girl’s modesty under Section 354 of the Penal Code and fined him instead.

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