Saturday, January 04 2003

IIUM suspends Heryati, three Bosnians involved in khalwat case

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 3: The International Islamic University has temporarily suspended D. Heryati Abdul Rahim, the second wife of former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Ghafar Baba, and the three Bosnian students who were caught with her for committing khalwat (close proximity) recently.
IIUM acting rector Professor Ismawi Zen said the four were suspended from today until the univer-sity receives a report from the Syariah High Court on details of the case.
"I will sign the suspension letters today," he said after attending the university's Hari Raya celebrations today.
He said the inquiry on the students could only proceed after receiving the report from the Syariah Court and the suspension would allow the students time to prepare their defence.
"The court has decided, and it is now up to the university to take the necessary action on the students." Ismawi said under the university's strict disciplinary rules, the case was considered a very serious offence and it was not likely to compromise on disciplinary action.
"We are an Islamic university and we expect our students to uphold the principles of Islam.
"There are several options, from the lightest which is a warning, to the heaviest punishment which is expulsion," he said.
As the case also involves foreign students who are subject to Immigration Department procedures, the university will be giving a report to the Immigration Department in the event the students are expelled.
He said the students would be given every opportunity to defend themselves, and that any action taken against them would be based on proper procedures.
Ismawi said this was the first major case of its nature in the university, which is the only university in Malaysia where students have to apply to live off-campus.
On Monday, Heryati, 41, had pleaded guilty in the Syariah High Court to committing khalwat with Admir Mehinovic, 23, Izudin Mulalic, 27, and Mirza Trako, 25, at No 282-06-02, Heritage Condominiums, Jalan Pahang, Setapak at midnight on Sept 28.
Admir is a Year One student in the Faculty of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences, while Izudin is in Year Two. Heryati is undergoing preparatory classes or the pre-sessional programme before she takes up Human Sciences in the same faculty, while Mirza was dismissed from the Faculty of Economics due to poor grades prior to the incident. He is appealing.
Also present at the celebration today was IIUM deputy rector of student affairs Associate Professor Dr Mohd Daud Bakar.
Earlier, Ismawi received a cheque for RM40,000 from BP Malaysia manager (government and public affairs) Abdul Kaiyum Nagoor for the sponsorship of the BP Mentoring programme.
Under the programme, which is in its fourth year, primary school students around the Gombak area will be mentored by some 80 IIUM students.