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.


lawfury said...

Sorry first of all for illegal parking,

but would you plese care sometime to briefly tell us common law types what the purpose of enactments are::


Murder suspect and suspended Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chief Antasari Azhar has asked prosecutors to reexamine his case regarding the role he played in Nasruddin Zulkarnaen’s murder.

“Please reexamine my dossier. Is my case really eligible to be tried? They still have time to do that before handing over the case to the court,” Antasari said, shortly before entering the Jakarta Police detention center on Tuesday.

Antasari’s lawyer Ari Yusuf Amir said many of the details and reenactments in the investigation were not in line with the facts.

“The reenactment at Sigid’s house and at the Grand Mahakam Hotel do not match the answers our client gave during his questioning,” he said.

Rob Baiton said...


This is why you need to start a blog of your own!

Enactments, as in the re-enactment sense, are designed to provide a visual representation of the facts presented.

They also act as a mechanism to check that the facts as they are stated actually support the "confessions" of the accused.

And, finally, they may be adduced as evidence if the accused then retracts their confession and says that they didn't so it.

If I am not mistaken it was a "tool" for British investigators back in the day. The day being the late 1930s. Most jurisdictions that adopted the practice have since decided it adds very little value to an already obtained confession.

I think that Antasari is relying more on the details not being in line with the "facts" rather than the re-enactments being problematic.

As I understood it the "dossier" was bouncing back and forth between the police and the prosecutors. The issue, as I recall, is something to do with the police not having properly identified all the necessary connections / relationships between Antasari and his alleged co-conspirators.

However, if I am not mistaken the man has been handed over and the dossier accepted. This should mean that a trial is not too far off.

lawf said...

Thanks. I will think that all over. Should take a while you'll be please to know!!

I can't start a blog if I only have questions, can I?

I see a role, not in the case of this particular blog, of raising questions rather than arguing with you on issues (I leave that to other more opiniated readers) which others may not have thought of, and which may be relevant for further understanding and argument.

Nevertheless I am thinking of blogging - but in some style of my very own - it just has not come to me yet.

I note Brett is becoming quite pugnacious - this seems to be his trademark. Would you care to be reviewed in one or two words??

Rob Baiton said...


I am always up to the question challenge.

Never met Brett personally. So, I only know him through his writings. He certainly does not mind speaking his mind.

In two words? Go for it!

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute, did somebody say that she's a model?

A model???????

lawquesy said...

she is a model. a lashious model. Is that important and how is it important. Do you think she will start a fashion??

for the mo', you get the label of polite cautious eclectic blogger.

I dont think I will make a name being a blog reviewer.

Controversial point: is a hit on the bum any more painful than a few nights in a cell. What is amnesty on about?? Is it a form of violence or conducive to violence?? should felons not be able to choose their punishments??

Rob Baiton said...


Apparently so. I have not done the research to find out what she models.


I am guessing AI would have an issue with spending a few nights in a cell for drinking beer.

Interesting question on whether people convicted of crimes should get to choose their punishment.

Anonymous said...

@lawquesy: I wasn't talking to you and wasn't aiming that question to anyone but the owner.

@rob: I was just wondering because she didn't look like one yet it was one of the details every paper wrote about her - including newspaper here (it was just a small column, though)

I am not interested in the whole beer and caning theory but I am more interested how Malaysia is often perceived like Indonesia in the 1960s - with a model who look like her

Rob Baiton said...


Maybe she is a model in a beer commercial :D

Seriously, as I said, I don't know what she is a model of or for.

Not sure what you mean. Shukarno looks like a model from the 1960s? Or that the perception is that the place is a little backward and still living in the 1960s?

lawquesy said...

Wait a minute, did somebody say that she's a model?

A model???????

I am not sure if you were being rude when you wrote what you wrote to me - Ill let Rob be the moderator of that - but from what I have extracted from your comment dear Writer (see above), you appear to making an invitation to anyone in the world to make a reply, and not just pillow talk to the blogger specifically.

By the way I have been very interested for many years now, as a commentator on blogs, of the etiquette of blogs, how it arises and how a "community of bloggers" attempts to form, extend or just maintain itself. About how the community of bloggers tries to stop the inertia in this particular literacy to implode??

Rob Baiton said...


I have nothing to say on this one. If the Writer wants to pursue this one then she can.

I believe a Google search on netiquette and blog etiquette might be illuminating.

Generally, I am too nice. So, I don't really worry all that much about the etiquette stuff :D

Harry Nizam H. said...

Very interesting development of the case. I think that by giving the woman a choice, the Prime Minister is helping her in the publicity.
If the purpose of the Sharia Court is to give lesson to Muslims who drank beer, then its verdict should be carried out.

Rob Baiton said...


I don't know that the PM is giving her a choice. It feels like he is telling her that her best option is to appeal the sentence.

Is the role of the courts to teach lessons or mete out punishment for crimes committed?

If the purpose is education would this be best served by a little bit of "re-education" in a boot camp or something as opposed to a good ol' does of corporal punishment?

oigal said...

"If the purpose of the Sharia Court is to give lesson to Muslims who drank beer, then its verdict should be carried out."

The problem with this approach is the selective nature with which is applied. Is Malaysia saying that any Muslim who drinks beer should be canned..ok fair enough..How many five star establishments would one have to visit before you could see very senior Muslim government and Business people having a drink. BTW not saying the Majority of Muslims drink but anyone who has been in any of those establishments knows seeing a Muslim drink is not like finding a unicorn grazing in the bad paddock.

oigal said...

oops back paddock

Rob Baiton said...


I think the Sharia Court decision must be read as "any Muslim caught drinking beer" where caught is the key word.

However, on the seriousness front, then I would agree that the authorities would need to be a little more pro-active in cruising the bars and clubs of KL and the Genting Highlands to catch a few of the more well-to-do and known partakers of alcohol and gambling.

oh no, it is the unicorn theory!

I knew what you meant by bad paddock. :D