KUALA TERENGGANU, Malaysia: A total of 197 students from secondary schools and higher learning institutes here were caught for khalwat (close proximity) in the first seven months of the year.
State Education, Higher Learning, Science, Technology and Human Resource Committee chairman Ahmad Razif Abd Rahman told the state assembly yesterday that Dungun topped the list with 55 cases.
This was followed by Besut (39), Kuala Terengganu (35), Marang (29), Kemaman (16), Setiu (eight) and Hulu Terengganu (five).
He said state Religious Department enforcement officers caught the offenders behaving indecently.
The department has also embarked on prevention measures to reduce the menace by creating awareness in schools and colleges in the state, he said when replying to a written question by Mohd Nor Hamzah (PAS - Bukit Payung) on the number of close proximity cases committed by students in the state.
Ahmad Razif said senior officials from the state Religious Department are also in constant contact with youth organisations and student leaders to foster closer relationships and advise them on the bane of committing khalwat.
He said the department had also intensified checks, surveillance and raids to curtail khalwat cases in the state.
Ahmad Razif added the scope of enforcement by the religious department covered checks at hotels, chalets, entertainment centres and recreational parks.