Two university lecturers have been accused of engaging in homosexual acts with Malaysia's now imprisoned former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim.
They are Hairany Modh Naffis, a political science lecturer at University Kebangsaan Malaysia, and a Pakistani lecturer, Dr Munawar. The acts are alleged to have taken place in 1994 and 1993
Describing such acts as "carnal intercourse against the order of nature", the penal code provides for a jail term not exceeding 20 years and a whipping.
Lawyers representing Anwar and the academics have complained that they not been permitted to see their clients and are unable to prepare their defence. The same complaint has been made regarding other students and academics detained under the internal security act.
The Malaysian Bar demanded last week that the authorities let lawyers work without harassment, hindrance or restraint.
Malaysian students and academics studying overseas who have voiced their support for Anwar are said to be " very worried" that the foreign ministry is considering legal action against "traitors" who have been condemning Malaysian leaders and discrediting the government overseas.