Indonesian expats urged to study Syariah law

National 1 minute, 9 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Indonesian ambassador yesterday urged Indonesian expatriates to familiarise themselves with Brunei’s new Syariah Penal Code to avoid any misunderstanding with law enforcement.

Her Excellency Nurul Qomar told a gathering of more than 100 Indonesian nationals that it was “important for them to know the provisions contained in the Syariah Penal Code.”

The Indonesian embassy held a second briefing on the new legislation for its nationals yesterday at the Youth Centre in the capital. The first briefing, which was attended by more than 200 people, was held back in November 2013.

“We are the biggest foreign community here, some of our nationals may not do the right thing sometimes, so we just want them to behave according to Bruneian law,” she told The Brunei Times.

Four Indonesian nationals were detained for khalwat (close proximity) earlier this week, prompting speculation they would be the first people to be charged under the Syariah Penal Code, which came into force on May 1, 2014.

The ambassador said the Immigration Department had contacted the embassy to inform them of the arrest but declined to indicate whether the authorities would proceed with criminal charges.

Khalwat is defined under law as an unmarried man and woman isolating themselves in close proximity that “can lead to suspicion they are committing an immoral act”.

Offenders can be fined up to $4,000 or jailed for up to one year.

The Brunei Times