On 12 August, the Terengganu Syariah court sentenced two women to six canes and a RM3,300 fine each after they pleaded guilty to having sex in a car
New Straits Times reported that the women admitted to breaking an Islamic law which bans sexual relations between women. Punishment under the law includes a fine not exceeding RM5,000, imprisonment for not more than three years, a maximum of six strokes of the cane, or any combination of those.
The ruling was delivered by Syariah judge Mohamad Khasmizan Abdullah.
"This is a serious case. The prosecutors urged the court to impose the maximum sentence (on the women)," Khasmizan was quoted as saying by New Straits Times.
The women, aged 22 and 32, were detained in April by Islamic enforcement officers at Arena Square in Dungun, Terengganu
According to Berita Harian, the women were caught on 8 April having lesbian sex in a car parked in Arena Square.
They admitted to the act and claimed that having lesbian sex was "safer" than having sex with men.
On top of that, a dildo was found hidden under the driver's seat in the car.
The women are currently free on a RM1,500 bail each
China Press reported that the women will get a four-month jail sentence if they fail to pay the fine. Meanwhile, the caning will be carried out on 28 August.
New Straits Times reported Khasmizan as saying that if the sentence was carried out, the women would be the first ones in the state to be caned for breaking the Syariah law.
The women's sentence is the latest addition to the scrutiny on the Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgenders (LGBT) community in Malaysia. Here's what politicians and muftis have said about them in the last week: