A Semporna-based dive instructor from China was arrested yesterday by Malaysian police.
He was identified as one of the suspects who posed nude on one of the islands off Sabah’s diving haven of Semporna. Their nude photos recently went viral on social media.
The Straits Time reported that the 33-year-old Chinese national was seized by the police from a rented room in Semporna last night at about 11:15pm.
“The suspect has visited Semporna several times, bringing in Chinese tourist groups to dive on the islands around Semporna,” said Sabah Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Chief Datuk Salehhudin Abdul Rahman.
He told reporters that the suspect is currently being remanded until 25th October (Sunday). The case would be investigated under Section 294 (a) of the Penal Code for public indecency.
Anyone found acting obscenely in a public area is punishable under the law, and can be jailed up to 3 months, or fined, or both, if found guilty.
According to The Star Online, the unnamed suspect, who has a Professional Association of Diving Instructor licence, is a frequent organiser of tours and diving activities around Semporna for China tourists.
This is the 3rd time a stripping incident was reported in Sabah.
Earlier in May, photos of tourists posing nude at the peak of Mt Kinabalu caused quite an uproar among locals, especially the natives who believed that it was a disrespectful act. 4 of the identified nudists were charged in court and sentenced to 3 days in jail and fined RM5,000 each before ordered to leave Sabah immediately.
Regarding these stripping cases, Semporna police chief Supt Peter Umbuas urged tour and resort operators to inform tourists on the country’s laws against stripping and to be culturally sensitive to the local communities.