Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Dear Canadians - public nudity is an offense in Malaysia

Dear Canadians

If you are looking about the two Canadian siblings Danielle and Lindsey Petersen who are or were, students at the University of Regina, that have been held back from leaving Malaysia for the offense of going naked on the top of mount Kinabalu. Let me explain what’s going on.

 The two are being held and investigated on the grounds that –

Public nudity is an offence in Malaysia. Under Section 294a, a person guilty of committing an obscene act in any public place can be jailed three months, fined or both.

Which apparently is something that is illegal even in Canada – though debatable apparently.

Canada has a tangle of confusing and inconsistently-enforced nudity laws.

Strictly speaking, s. 174 of Canada’s Criminal Code forbids nudity in public places or on private property that is exposed to public view “without a lawful excuse.”

This is a summary conviction offence, meaning it’s a less serious type of crime. It’s punishable by six months in jail, a $5,000 fine, or both.

The local Tribal community in Sabah however believe it has angered the spirits and guardians of the mountain (Kinabalu)  which is revered as a sacred place. Their actions are akin to someone walking into say the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, Quebec or Soldier mountain (sacred to Ajumawi indians), Fall River valley, stripping naked and peeing.

Despite numerous pleas from the local guide, the group of tourists stripped and peed on the summit.

So not only have they disrespected local culture and believes, they have broken a law in Malaysia.

Perhaps try reading up on legal laws of a country and local culture before you attempt to visit or ridicule them?

Sincerely a Malaysian.  

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