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Malaysian model`s father wants caning to be carried out correctly

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 12:51

Kuala Lumpur: A Muslim model, who will become first woman to be caned under Islamic law in Malaysia, wants authorities "to carry out the punishment correctly and not in Taliban style".

Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, 32, has been sentenced to be caned for drinking beer in public by a religious court and her controversial sentence has been upheld by the appeals
court yesterday.

Her father Tuesday said that Kartika Sari was ready for her punishment but wants authorities "to do it correctly and not the Taliban way".

"We accept the caning sentence. My daughter is ready to be caned. She has been reading Holy Koran to give us strength," her 60-year-old father Shukarno Mutalib said.

In Malaysia, a moderate Islamic state, the punishment is carried out using a light cane and Mutalib hinted that he wanted the punishment to be carried out lightly.

The upholding of the caning sentence by the appeals court came after the punishment sparked off a wave of criticism including appeals to the government by women`s organisation that the sentence was "too harsh".
No date has been set to carry out the caning by the Pahang High Court which upheld the Sharia Court`s judgement. "We obey the sentence", Mutalib said, adding "its a
challenge...but a way of life."

Kartika Sari, pleaded guilty before the Sharia Court and refused to appeal her sentence in the higher court, instead the government asked the High Court to review the punishment. Justice Abdul Hamid who headed the bench ruled that the sentence was correct.

According to legal sources, the caning would be done with a thin stick and would largely be symbolic, unlike in cases of hard criminals or rapists where a thick rattan stick
is used on bare buttocks.

Malaysia has a dual track justice system, with Muslims coming under the purview of Sharia Courts in all personal matters, while Chinese, Indians and others who form 28 per
cent of the population are covered by civil laws, and allowed to drink.

Only three states in Malaysia -- Pahang, Perlis and Kelatan -- impose caning for drinking alcohol, while in ten other states, the offence is punishable by fine.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 12:51

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