Apparently, being seen together with a member of the opposite gender means there had to be some hanky-panky going on, at least according to Terengganu’s religious authorities.
Terengganu’s religious authorities had been the topic of intense discussion after reports of several unmarried Muslims being arrested for riding motorcycles together came to light. Now it seems there are even plans to extend the enforcement even to unmarried Muslims of a different gender to share a car.
Yes, you might be arrested for offering to send your female colleague home in a rainy weather, because religious authorities think if she is in your car she must be sleeping with you.
However, it would seem that Terengganu Religious Affairs Department (JHEAT) is also having trouble trying to have the anti-vice operation, dubbed Ops Bonceng, implemented, as religious officers would not be able to observe Muslims in cars.
“There are suggestions to extend [the operation] but we have to see first how Ops Bonceng is being handled,” JHEAT’s chief assistant commissioner (enforcement) Nik Zulhaiza Ismail told ProjekMMO.
Nik also admitted that they cannot punish and assume what drivers and passengers do, unlike motorcycles where the passenger is obviously sitting very closely with the rider.
A similar law was reportedly enforced in Aceh, Indonesia, where authorities argued the close proximity “might lead to sinful acts”. Enforcement, however, does not extend to unmarried Muslims sharing a car. Aceh’s local laws, called “qanun”, are mostly enforceable within Aceh only and do not apply anywhere else in the country.
With increasing conservative views rising in the country, perhaps enforcement will soon extend to drivers and passengers of the same sex, for fear they might be in a homosexual relationship?