Bugger, is this a crime?

By Yong Ling Loong

The other day, I asked a long-time friend, Soh Toh Mai (not her real name), whether she or her husband has ever committed a crime on Malaysian soil. A little mystified, my friend of many years nonetheless obliged me with her reply. “Of course not. Why do you ask?”

Ignoring her question, I pestered her further with my next question. “Have you ever done the “69” position or performed fellatio on your husband?” (Fellatio: oral sex, giving head or blow job. “69” position is simultaneous oral sex between two partners).

She went a bit red, but knowing my habit of asking her the most outrageous of questions, complied again in the affirmative.

“There you go. See, you have committed a crime! And if your husband had performed oral sex on you (cunnilingus), both of you have contravened the Malaysian Penal Code and if convicted of this crime, you are both liable to be imprisoned up to 20 years in addition to being whipped as well.”

This time, she stared wide-eyed at me with that look that says “Are you nuts? What in the world are you harping about?”

I proceeded to explain to her why she and her husband have all of a sudden become accidental criminals.

“Our Malaysian Penal Code makes it a crime to perform oral or anal sex, regardless of gender or consent. As long as the penis is inside the anus or mouth, it is considered a crime.”

My friend, who by now, sported an incredulous look, shot back, “Holy Molly, these are such common and natural acts that the whole world is doing them! If this is a crime, then everyone is guilty. Everyone is a criminal!” I know Soh is rather prone to exaggeration whenever she is on the brink of spewing out some volcanic ashes and rocks. Her face was turning red and she was heaving as she ranted.

“Ah, but under Malaysian criminal laws, these are considered unnatural acts – carnal intercourse against the order of nature,” I responded.

Calming down a bit, Soh thought for awhile, then said, “Whoever who created this law is a moron, perhaps someone who indulges in straight sex only via missionary position. Perhaps, someone who hails from a very conservative background. I pity him because he would never know the joy and ecstasy of having a blow job done on him. And he would never know how to satisfy his partner by giving her oral sex, or maybe he doesn’t care at all.”

Soh shook her head and continued, “Anyway, who is going to enforce this archaic law, which is as yesterday as Victorian chastity belts. Will there be a moral squad similar to the very active and occasionally bungling khalwat squad?” (Khalwat squad comprises of Muslim men who are recruited solely to spy on every Muslim or presumed Muslim couple’s sexual behaviour)

In a perversely enthusiastic mood now, Soh extrapolated further the scenario – “Members of the Moral or Sodomy Squad must be trained to recognize a real and pseudo or imagined penis. With a proliferation of dildoes around, one could easily get mistaken about the object that enters the anus or mouth. They should carry with them tools of their trade like tape measures, cameras, x-ray binoculars and storage containers specially for semen specimens. They also must be prepared to work graveyard hours as most sodomy activities are presumed to take place at night.”

“And if time and budget allow, they should also be trained to take DNA samples. This way, their evidence will hopefully be able to stand in court. I mean all their efforts would be wasted if it cannot stand in court, right? Why prosecute under the sodomy provisions at all if their evidences are not strong enough when challenged in court?”

I was going to say something about privacy concerns when Soh came up with another one of her bizarre extrapolations of the sodomy laws in Malaysia – “Since the law is about justice, I am sure the authorities do not want to be seen to victimize only some sodomites. The most obvious group in society who routinely practise sodomy must be gay men. So, they should launch Operasi Rainbow to round up all the practicing gay men in Malaysia. Punish them to the severest extent of the law in order to deter the rest of the potential sodomites in Malaysian society. ”

Soh had no time now to catch her breath. “And while they are at it, they should recruit more executioners for Malaysian prisons due to the spike in the number of prisoners requiring to be whipped. Build more prisons as well because more than half of the Malaysian population are expected to be incarcerated for offences under Section 377 of the Penal Code“.

“Install hidden cameras in prostitution dens or hotel rooms as well. That way, instead of putting the Sodomy Squad to work on the field with its attendant safety risks, half of them can just sit back and relax in front of TV monitors. It’s such a cushy job (in more ways than one) that I bet many men will queue up to join. There is also the potential side income as when couples caught sodomizing might want to settle “out of court”.

There will be many too who will protest the implementation of the sodomy laws, but according to Soh, this is the price we have to pay in order to clean up the country’s image especially in terms of sexual morality.

“Malaysian image took a severe beating when a former deputy prime minister was charged for sodomy and when a serving DPM was implicated in a murder involving a Mongolian beauty. It seems that in both cases, sodomy allegedly took place. Therefore, drastic measures are needed to show to the world that Malaysians are not a nation full of sodomites,” Soh said straight-faced. Yes, my friend Soh, is known for her double-speak.

Bugger, it’s already past bedtime. I have yet to finish the script for a documentary tentatively entitled “Kisah Benar Skuad Liwat” or “True Tales from the Sodomy Squad”. Before I left, I gave Soh a copy of the Malaysian Penal Code with Section 377 dog-eared for her.


(1) Malaysia’s sodomy or “crimes against nature” law bans all oral and anal sex regardless of the gender of the parties involved. It has been criticized as an antiquated statute that intrudes into private lives. It is rarely prosecuted.

The relevant Section 377 of the Penal Code reads:

377A. Carnal intercourse against the order of nature.

Any person who has sexual connection with another person by the introduction of the penis into the anus or mouth of the other person is said to commit carnal intercourse against the order of nature. Explanation

Penetration is sufficient to constitute the sexual connection necessary to the offence described in this section.

377B. Punishment for committing carnal intercourse against the order of nature.

Whoever voluntarily commits carnal intercourse against the order of nature shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to twenty years, and shall also be liable to whipping.

377C. Committing carnal intercourse against the order of nature without consent, etc.

Whoever voluntarily commits carnal intercourse against the order of nature on another person without the consent, or against the will, of the other person, or by putting other person in fear of death or hurt to the person or any other person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than five years and not more than twenty years, and shall also be liable to whipping.

(2) In their 1977 Redbook Report on Female Sexuality, C. Tavris and S. Sadd found that 93% of American wives reported having engaged in cunnilingus and 91% had engaged in fellatio. They concluded from this response that, “Today it is clear that if the sexual revolution has occurred anywhere, it is in the practice and acceptance of oral sex. Among people under age twenty-five, it is virtually a universal part of the sexual relationship.”

That was 30 years ago in America. It is safe to say that now, for people under 50, it is universal.

(4) University of Utah law professor Terry Kogan in 1998 observed that since there are far more heterosexuals than homosexuals, and since sex research shows most heterosexuals have engaged in oral sex, it follows that heterosexual sodomy is far more prevalent than homosexual.



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