The Rotating King’s rotating birthday

With less than two weeks to go before the eagerly anticipated public holiday to mark the King’s birthday, he changed the date … again!

I wondered what would happen in other countries if a public holiday was changed at such short notice … rioting in the streets, probably.  Here they just shrug and accept it, and obviously haven’t already planned a mini-break in Thailand or somewhere similar, which now needs to be cancelled.

I’ve been following some other news stories with interest too, such as the man charged with ‘outraging the modesty of a woman in a car park’.

But frustratingly, no further details are given, so I still don’t know exactly how you outrage a woman’s modesty, and whether outraging it in a car park is more serious or less serious than outraging it in a cinema, say, or a restaurant.  A table of comparisons would have been helpful – as in the story below.

A very big news item this week is the amendment to Sharia Law in Kelantan province to allow public caning.

Malaysia has a dual-track legal system, so the paper helpfully provided a table comparing whipping under federal law and under Sharia law.

They stress that this punishment is only for Muslims, and the crimes punishable by whipping under Sharia law are illicit sex, false claims of illicit sex, sodomy and drinking alcohol.  All the fun stuff, as a (non-Muslim) colleague remarked.

It’s articles like this that make me realise that, despite all the shiny new skyscrapers and sophisticated cocktail bars, Malaysia really is a very foreign country.