Caned for Committing Adultery in Banda Aceh


While Indonesia is the world’s most populated Muslim nation, Islamic Sharia law is only implemented in Aceh. I have been asked the question many times: is adultery an offence in Singapore? While the answer is no, adultery is certainly a serious offence under the Sharia law.

Under the Islamic Sharia law, people of opposite sex who are not married to each other are not allowed to get “too close” to each other. If they do, they risk being punished by public caning. In fact, unmarried men and women are not even allowed to ride on the same motorcycle.

An Indonesian woman was recently caned 100 times after she was accused of having sexual intercourse with another man. The woman was brought on stage in front of a huge crowd of people and forced to kneel on the ground. She was caned 100 times on her back. Thereafter, she was allowed to leave and her co-accused (the man in question) was brought on stage to face the same punishment.

The law also prohibits “gay sex, gambling and drinking alcohol”.

Sharia law was first implemented in Aceh in 2001. Newer Islamic laws have been introduced in Aceh in recent years. From the early part of 2016, women are banned from entertainment venues after 11pm if they are unaccompanied by their husband or a male family member.

See: Jennifer Newton, “Lashed for falling in love with the wrong person: Man and woman are caned 100 times each in brutal punishment for adultery in Indonesia”, Daily Mail Online, 28 November 2016

Consequences of adultery in Singapore

As a divorce lawyer in Singapore, I have had many clients asked me about the punishments for adultery in Singapore. Is adultery an offence in Singapore? The short answer is no. Adultery is not a criminal offence in Singapore. It is a fact used by some to show that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. In other words, it is a reason for divorce.

See: Section 95 of Women’s Charter (Singapore)

Should you incur huge amount of private investigator’s fees to prove your spouse’s adultery, you may be able to ask for “costs” against your spouse for the money spent. If you proceed to a contested divorce trial and win, you may also be able to ask for “costs” to be awarded against your spouse. In other words, you will be able to recoup at least some of the costs you incurred to engage a private investigator and lawyer.

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You may also be interested to read more about:

1. Divorce and Separation

2. Annulment (Nullity) of Marriage

3. Children’s Issues

4. Matrimonial Assets

5. Maintenance Issues (Alimony)

6. Family Violence

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