02 January 2003

Malaysian PM steps in on flasher row

Malaysian men flashing their genitals at women now run a risk of having their sarongs seized and presented as evidence in court.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has advised the public to seize the sarongs of flashers and leave them naked, so that the wrap-around cloth can be used as evidence, the New Straits Times reported on Thursday.

Dr Mahathir was commenting on the case of a member of Malaysia's opposition Islamic party who was accused of flashing his private parts at a female member of the ruling party by lifting his sarong during a by-election campaign.

Razak Abas, 52, a former parliamentary candidate for the Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), was acquitted in court last month, partly on the grounds that the prosecution had failed to produce the sarong he wore during the alleged incident.

"Now we know what we must do when faced with such cases. We must first take the sarong so that it can be used as an evidence although this will lead to the person being naked," Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Although, he added, "I do not know how the sarong can be used as an evidence that the person lifted his sarong."