Little Known Sexual Crimes in the Malaysian Penal Code

Malaysia seems to be a country obsessed with criminalizing sexual conducts, even between consenting adults.

And the scary thing for both foreigners and Malaysians is this - some of the sexual conducts outlawed are actually quite mainstream and enjoyed by many consenting adults.

Sexual crimes are found in many different statutes, but for the purpose of this post, we will merely take a cursory look on certain less known sexual crimes in the Penal Code.

If you have a Penal Code with you, do look at Sections 375 to 377E.
I will try to make this a simple as possible, but if you encounter any legal issues, please consult a lawyer.

Too Long Didn't Read

In short, these are the little known crimes under the Penal Code:

1) Blowjob
2) Anal sex
3) Violence or threat of violence used in sex between married couple
4) Incest

But these are arguably not prohibited (if done with consent) under the Penal Code:

1) Cunnilingus
2) Handjob
3) Using sex toy

Rape

Rape is, of course, a crime. This is a common crime, but it is worth stating here on the outset.

It is rape when sexual intercourse is conducted:

a) without consent or against the woman's will;
b) when such consent or will is obtained fraudulently by making the woman to believe that the man is her husband or someone she would consent to;
c) when such consent or will is obtained by putting fear of death or hurt to any person;
d) when the woman does not understand the nature and consequences of her consent;
e) when the consent is obtained by using the man's position of authority or professional relationship or other relationship of trust; or
f) when the victim is below 16 years old.

Rape in Marriage

The provision criminalizing rape in marriage is relatively new. At that time, the women groups strongly urged that rape in marriage be criminalized.

There is, however, an argument that in Islam that the wife cannot refuse sex to her husband.

To overcome this obstacle, the provision in relation to rape in marriage was then structured in this manner - a man cannot cause hurt or death, or putting the fear of hurt or death, to his wife or any other person, in order to have sex.

To make an oversimplified illustration, it will be an offense, say, a man threaten his wife that he will beat up their kids if she doesn't have sex with him.

The threat of divorce or withholding of maintenance (nafkah in Malay) etc does not appear to be an offense.

Rape: Only a Male Can Rape?

Unlike many other countries, it is unfortunate that Malaysian Penal Code does not recognize that a female can rape.

But my dear female readers, please don't go out and rape.

Incest

Incest is legal between consenting adults in many countries, but not Malaysia.

As Malaysian citizens consists of people of various race and religion, the prohibition of incest is restricted to sexual intercourse between a man and a woman whom are prohibited to marry according to "law, religion, custom or usage applicable to him or her".

It does not appear to be an incestuous crime if two persons of same gender engage in a sexual relationship. But don't be happy, we will go to homosexual sex below.

Buggery with Animal

Is a crime, regardless of gender.

Fellatio

Fellatio, commonly known as blowjob, is a crime in Malaysia. Yup, you heard that right.

Cunnilingus i.e. oral sex performed on a female, however, is not a crime.

Anal Sex

If you are a homosexual male, tough luck. Anal sex is also a crime in Malaysia, if a penis is used for penetration.

It is a crime regardless of whether the anal sex is between a male and another male, or a male and another female.

Sexual Connection by Object

The good news is, using sex toys to penetrate vagina or anus is only a crime if it is done without consent.

Other sexual crimes in penal code

They are quite standard across the world. Don't molest, and don't play (sexually) with a child under 14.

Handjob does not appear to be a crime.

Homosexual Sex?

Now if you are not a Muslim, there is no prohibition in you engaging in homosexual relationship.

However, many of the sexual acts between homosexual males are outlawed. If you must do it legally, you will have play around the rules.

BDSM

Now this is a big topic warranting a post on its own. I will write about it next time.

Conclusion

You would see from the above that the Penal Code seems to be quite gender bias when it comes to sexual crime. Maybe, just maybe, we have taken the assumption that the males are sexual predators and females are all angels, as far as sex is concerned.

You would also notice that the Penal Code at times takes a religious overture in criminalizing sexual crimes.

But ultimately, when the State takes an interest on how we have consensual sex, it cannot be a good thing.

This article is written by our Partner, Loke Yuen Hong