By NIK NAIZI HUSIN
KUANTAN: A 17-year-old female and five males in a hotel room were among 56 people detained in an early morning raid conducted by officers from the Islamic Religious Department on several budget hotels in town.
In the raid from 6am to 9am yesterday, the department's deputy director Ghazali Abdul Aziz said 56 people, between the ages of 15 and 20, were detained.
He said they were held for offences under Section 145 (1) & (2) of Enakmen Pentadbiran Ugama Islam dan Adat Resam Melayu Pahang 1982 (amended 1987).
If found guilty, each of them can be fined not more than RM1,000 or six months' jail or both.
Ghazali said starting the raid at 6am was the right time because some had checked into the hotel rooms early in the morning and would sleep until afternoon.
"The reasons given to us were similar. Many said they could not return home because the New Year celebration ended late.
"One unmarried couple had planned to celebrate a birthday party in the room," he said, adding that it was the responsibilty of parents to ensure their children returned home at an acceptable time.
Earlier, State Family Development, Women Affairs and Tourism Committee chairman Datuk Shafik Fauzan Sharif led some 1,000 people comprising students, academicians and musicians to celebrate the New Year at Taman Budaya here.
Also present were Teruntum assemblyman Chang Siang Hong and Mohd Sukarno Abdul Wahab, the state Unity, Arts, Culture and Heritage Department director. -The Star/Asia News Network