US actor calls for M'sia products boycott
Published on: Friday, September 14, 2018

Kuala Lumpur: US actor Dirk Blocker of sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine fame urged fans to shun products made in Malaysia as a way to protest Monday's caning of two women ordered by the Terengganu Syariah Court for engaging in same-sex relations.The case has put Malaysia in the global spotlight for its laws against consensual sexual activities between adults and for the corporal punishment imposed.

"Boycott Malaysian products until the government there stops torturing people for living their lives," Blocker posted over his Twitter page.

In the award-winning hit US sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Blocker plays the character of Hitchcock, one of several inept police officers working the day shift in the fictional New York police precinct.

The show stars comedians Andy Samberg, Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero among others.

International watchdog Human Rights Watch (HRW) also called on the federal government to ensure the public caning of two women in Terengganu be the last such act to be carried out.

Deputy director (Asia) Phil Robertson said Malaysia should realise that caning is torture and nobody should be a victim for any reason, and certainly "not for loving another adult of the same gender".

"By publicly caning these two women, Terengganu officials committed an outrageous human rights violation that tarnishes the reputation of Malaysia as a rights respecting nation.

"The federal government should take steps now to ensure this is absolutely the last time a person is caned in Malaysia for consensual sexual relations with another adult," Robertson's statement issued yesterday read.

On Monday, two women found guilty for attempting to have lesbian sex were caned six times at the Terengganu Shariah High Court witnessed by about 100 individuals.

Minister in the Prime Minister's department (Religion) Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa also said public presence during the sentencing should be reviewed.

Shariah laws are under the purview of the state, and not the federal government.

The federal Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 allows Shariah courts to punish by whipping up to six strokes, although Islamist party PAS that governs Terengganu has previously sought to amend this restriction.


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