PUTRAJAYA (Nov 14, 2012): A high-ranking civil servant today pleaded guilty to a charge of being in close proximity with a female Muslim co-worker.
Health director-general Datuk Seri Dr Hasan Abdul Rahman(pix)was fined RM3,000 by the Syariah High Court here after admitting to committing "khalwat" with Wan Syarifah Noorazmita Wan Hassan at 2:18am, room 5227, Pullman Hotel, Putrajaya.
They had been found in the room together by a team of Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) officers at around 2am, during a check which was conducted based on a public tip-off.
Wan Syarifah, 36, was fined RM2,900 for the same offence.
Hasan, 56, had pleaded before Syariah judge Mohd Amran Mat Zain that his sentence be reduced to only a fine, as a jail term would affect his service at the Health Ministry.
He also said he has plans to marry Wan Syarifah upon completion of her divorce proceedings.
Under Section 27 (a) and (b) of the Syariah Criminal Offences Act 1997, a Muslim man and woman who are not married and found together in a situation which may lead to suspicion of immoral activities, may be fined no more than RM3,000 and jailed no more than two years, or both.
However, the prosecution, led by lawyer Che Saupi Che Husin, had asked for maximum sentence considering Hasan's senior position in the civil service.
"As a senior official in the public service, he should know better of the law and he has shamed the profession," Che Saupi said.
He also said that Wan Syarifah is still legally married and it is forbidden for her to be in such a situation with a man who is not her husband nor her relative.
In delivering his judgement, Mohd Amran said the facts of the case must be considered in its entirety, as it is their first offence.
"The accused has also asked for a lighter sentence, expressed remorse over their actions, and had stated their intention to marry," said Mohd Amran.
He added that the impact of this case on Hasan as a senior civil servant would also serve as a lesson.
He ordered them to pay the fines, failing which they will be subject to imprisonment of three months for Hasan, and 30 days for Wan Syarifah.