Ramadan Postpones Malaysian Model's Caning
The caning of the Malaysian model, Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, was postponed abruptly at the last minute until after the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
The 32-year-old mother-of-two who had been sentenced to six strokes of the cane this week for drinking a beer at the nightclub was taken away to be whipped this morning, but a government official later said the Attorney General's office had adviced that the caning should be delayed for "compassionate reasons" until after Ramadan, which began last Saturday.
“The sentence remains,” Mohamed Sahfri Abdul Aziz, the head of religious affairs in Pahang state said, according to Malaysian media accounts. “She has been released but only temporarily.”
According to reports, JAIP officers had gone to Kartika's house in Sungai Siput, Perak but left 30 minutes later after receiving the orders from their 'higher' authorities.
Ms. Kartika, for her part, last week urged the authorities to cane her in public in order to deter other Muslims from drinking alcohol and refused to appeal her sentence. She couldn't be immediately reached for comment, but her sister Ratna told the Associated Press that Ms. Kartika was "stressed" by Monday's decision to delay her punishment.
Kartika was charged under Section 136 of the Pahang Islamic and Malay Tradtional Practices Enactment (Amendment) 1987, which states that those found guilty of consuming alcohol, "can be fined up to RM5,000 or jailed for a maximum of three years, or both, and sentenced to six strokes of the rotan."
While caning remains a common punishment under Malaysia's civil code, Kartika is the first woman in Malaysia to be caned under Islamic law.