The police have arrested 1,863 individuals believed to be involved in prostitution in Kuala Lumpur under Op Noda as of July 19 this year.
Kuala Lumpur police chief, Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim said the arrests were made following inspections at 1,482 premises as well as 581 raids conducted, the Star reports.
He said of the total number arrested, 588 individuals were locals, with 38 being under the age of 16, and the rest aged between 16 and 60.
“The remaining number of arrests involved foreigners, namely 1,275 individuals,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Mazlan said during the same period, 74 individuals were prosecuted under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca), while 99 entertainment centres in the capital had been issued with summonses.
What the law says:
Legally, prostitution is in a grey area as there is no actual law in the Penal Code that explicitly says prostitution is illegal. So that would mean, prostitution in Malaysia is restricted but not illegal in the sense of the word.
However, pimping, human trafficking and solicitation of sex is illegal under the Penal Code.
Prostitutes can still be found liable in certain circumstances. Under Section 27(b) of the Minor Offences Act 1955, prostitutes are not allowed to behave in a disorderly or indecent manner in or near any public area. According to the act,
“every prostitute behaving in a disorderly or indecent manner in or near any public road or in any place of public resort…shall be deemed to be an idle and disorderly person and shall be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month or to both.”