Malaysia state says woman to be caned after Ramadan
Sungai Siput: A Malaysian state will cane a Muslim woman who drank alcohol once the Islamic holy month of Ramadan is over, a state government official said on Monday.
"The punishment has not been cancelled, it was postponed because of Ramadan," Pahang state Executive Councillor for Religion, Missionary Work and Unity, Mohamad Sahfri Abdul Aziz, said.
Earlier on Monday, moves to cane 32-year old Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno were halted when state authorities said a warrant to take her to prison where she was to be caned could not be enforced.
Earlier in the day, religious authorities in Malaysia had freed Shukarno, who had been sentenced to be caned for dinking beer, although she refused to leave a van taking her to jail when returned to her home.
And her father had said the change of mind would ridicule Islam, which bans Muslims from consuming alcohol.
"The warrant cannot be executed," Sharafuddin Zainal Ariffin, head of enforcement for the state of Pahang's Islamic Affairs Department, had told reporters after Shukarno returned to her house.
Both the woman, a Malaysian who has two children and who had worked as a nurse in Singapore, and her father had called for the sentence to be carried out quickly and in public.
Kartika was to have been taken to another state to be caned some time this week.
"I will not come out without a black and white document explaining the status of what has happened. I am surprised and speechless," Kartika told reporters.
Her father said the change of mind would bring "ridicule" on Islam. "We had already accepted the punishment," Shukarnor Mutalib, told reporters.