PETALING JAYA: A HIGH-RANKING government official and a nurse with the same ministry pleaded guilty to khalwat in the Syariah High Court here yesterday after they were caught at a nearby hotel earlier in the morning.
Health Ministry director-general Datuk Seri Dr Hasan Abdul Rahman, 56, was fined RM3,000 in default three months jail, and Wan Syarifah Nooraazmanita Wan Hassan, 35, of the ministry's Departmental Examination Management Unit, was fined RM2,900 in default of 30 days jail.
Both paid their fines.
Syarie judge Mohd Amran Mat Zain handed down the punishment after taking into consideration that both the accused had pleaded guilty and intended to marry once Wan Syarifah Nooraazmanita's divorce proceedings were settled.
Mohd Amran also said the impact of the case on Dr Hasan was huge and considered it a form of punishment.
According to the facts of the case, acting on a tip-off, enforcement officers from the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) knocked on the door of the hotel room at about 2am.
After five minutes, Dr Hassan, who was dressed in shorts and a T-shirt, allowed them to enter the room.
Inside, they found Wan Syarifah Nooraazmanita, dressed but without a scarf, sitting on a chair next to the bed.
The two were charged under Section 27 (A) and (B) of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territories) Act 1997 which is punishable with a jail term of less than two years or fine up to RM3,000 or both upon conviction.
The prosecution was led by Che Saupi Che Husin, who told the court that khalwat was the most frequent type of religious offence with 10,719 cases reported in 2009.
It is learnt that the chief secretary to the government would refer this matter to the Public Service Department and issue a statement tomorrow.