Malaysian lawmakers have called for foreign prostitutes to be whipped as a deterrent to others considering coming here to work in the sex industry, a report said on Tuesday.
Mohamed Aziz, from the ruling National Front coalition, told parliament he had met a transvestite from Brunei who said he moved to Malaysia because the rules here were more lenient.
"He told me that in Brunei, prostitutes would be whipped," he said, according to the Star daily.
"If we can impose whipping for drug addicts, why can't we do the same for prostitutes," he said in a proposal that was supported by at least one other lawmaker.
Malaysia's government is considering introducing tougher laws against prostitution amid concerns over an influx of foreign sex workers who are using tourist visas to enter the country.
Deputy internal security minister Johari Baharum has said that over 15 500 foreign women were arrested for prostitution from 2004 to July 2006, including more than 6 000 from China, 4 596 from Indonesia, 2 613 from Thailand and 1 316 from the Philippines.
Women from Vietnam, Cambodia, Uzbekistan, India, Myanmar, Russia, Laos and Cambodia also come to Malaysia to engage in the sex trade, he said.
Should foreign prostitutes be whipped?