25 August 2009
Malaysia, Caning, and Beer -- Part IV
It would seem that being sentenced to a good ol' caning, wanting to get caned, and actually being caned are very different things.
It is interesting that the Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak, has entered the fray on this one. He has suggested that the Singaporean and Muslim model, Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, not be quite as willing to accept her fate. According to Razak, although he does not want to interfere with the imposition of the sentence or the role of the Sharia Courts, he believes that not all avenues of appeal are yet closed.
The PM is of the opinion that the authorities are "sensitive" to her plight and the implications of the sentence. and therefore she should appeal. I guess there are a number of ways that can be interpreted, and the cynics among us might lean towards the PM interfering in the judicial / justice process. Then again, maybe the cynics would not see it this way.
Shukarno was granted a reprieve as the Sharia Courts and the authorities decided that the holy month of Ramadan was not the opportune time to be caning a young mother of two for drinking beer. Hey, seeing it is Ramadan and a month of forgiveness, how about just vacating the sentence and replace it with a warning that in essence is a slap on the wrist and some choice words about re-offending.
However, I am of the opinion that she wants to get caned. Whether she wants to get caned because it is publicity and any publicity is good publicity, I am not going to speculate. But, she is calling a good bluff on any front by challenging the authorities to get the deed done.
Most people would have appealed the sentence as a matter of course, Shukarno has not. Instead, she has argued that if it is to be done and the authorities are really doing it as a means of educating other Muslims of the ills of alcohol and drinking, then the caning must be done in public. This makes sense to me.
The waiting game continues.