Ex-policeman dies fleeing Malaysian morality raid | world | Hindustan Times
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Ex-policeman dies fleeing Malaysian morality raid

world Updated: May 19, 2011 01:24 IST
Kuala Lumpur

A former policeman fell to his death from a 16th floor hotel window ledge as he tried to evade a raid by Malaysia's Islamic morality police, officials said on Wednesday.

Islamic religious department officials carry out regular raids throughout the country, arresting Muslim Malays for "khalwat" or "close proximity" under religious laws that bar unmarried Muslims from being alone with a member of the opposite sex.

District police chief Zulkarnain Abdul Rahman told AFP the 49-year old man was with a 40-year old woman, who was not his wife, when the incident occurred on Tuesday.

"Initial reports show he fell from the ledge when trying to escape the officers," he said.

"The man died on the spot due to severe head injuries and the body was sent to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital. We are still investigating the case and so cannot provide any further details," Zulkarnian added.

Malaysia has a dual-track legal system and Islamic courts can try Muslims -- who dominate the multicultural population -- for religious and moral offences.

Three Malay Muslim women were caned in February last year for having sex out of wedlock in the first such punishment under Islamic law in Malaysia. The cases have fuelled debate over rising "Islamisation" of the multi-ethnic nation.

Another woman was sentenced to six strokes of the cane by an Islamic court in the eastern state of Pahang in July 2009 for drinking beer, but the sentence was eventually reduced to three weeks community service after pressure from religious and rights groups.