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Malaysian Woman Sentenced to Caning For Drinking a Beer

Not every woman around the world can enjoy the simple pleasures of life, like sipping a cold beer on vacation, without fear of physical punishment. Recently, 32-year-old Malaysian model Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno was sentenced to be caned for drinking a beer in a hotel nightclub.

After being taken into custody and transported to a prison for her punishment today, Kartika was prepared to endure the caning. Unexpectedly the Islamic Sharia court granted her a reprieve until the holy month of Ramadan is over, throwing her case into confusion. Still, officials maintain that the delayed sentence stands.

So why was she sentenced to such a punishment in the first place? Malaysia operates under two legal systems, which includes Sharia courts that can try Muslims for moral or religious offenses. Although prosecution is rare, Muslims like Kartika can be jailed for up to three years or given six strokes of a cane for drinking alcohol.

While she was spared the caning this week, Kartika is not happy about being in legal limbo and her father says: "My daughter wants the sentence to be done. I'm afraid that people will make fun of the religion."

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
zeze zeze 7 years
While I don't agree with the form of punishment, I think they have every right to ban whatever product they want to ban (within reason) and there are plenty of reasons to ban alcohol. The two-systems thing is weird, something should either be illegal or not illegal - if a Muslim does something that a Muslim shouldn't do, doesn't their doing of that act make them non-Muslim, at least in their actions at that moment? It just gets confusing with their system.
mermei mermei 7 years
The BBC version of this story adds that the government is trying to prevent the sentence for being too harsh given the crime committed. The snag is that the woman not only won't appeal, but asked for the sentence to be carried out in public. This doesn't seem like quite the cut-and-dried women's issue that the first sentence of this post suggests.
kulikuli kulikuli 7 years
Hey yoga, They still sell alcohol in Malaysia because not everyone there is Muslim. She just happened to be and that why she was being tried in the Sharia Court System for her crime. The have Buddhist, Hindus, and Christians in Malaysia, those people are allowed to drink alcohol, Muslims are not. And since it's an Islamic government they govern those religious rules. They actually have I.D. cards to prove your over 18 and non-muslim to buy the alcohol. And you're right, it's illegal for both Muslim women and men to drink, she is just the first woman to get caned for this conviction which is why it's big news. And anyone saying that she should give up her religion, that's just an ignorant comment. Just because you don't agree with the religion doesn't mean it doesn't work for some people. Walk in to any church here and tell people to stop believing in Jesus and see if that happens. Try to be open minded to how things work around the world. To each their own! ~And finally, it's sad that it had to come down to a punishment like this. I don't agree with caning, but i also don't agree with a lot of punishments across the globe, America has it's flaws too.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
Does everyone have to be Muslim? Maybe she does not want to give up her faith even if that is an option. Caning just seems so barbaric to me but then I was definitely raised with a different set of morals/values than Malaysia. To me, it is odd for the religion to have the legal authority to dish out punishments for breaking religious tenets. But this is how Malaysia operates so who am I to judge. At least this is not a punishment for being a female drinking alcohol; the punishment is the same for all muslims who drink alcohol. My question is, why is it for sale in the country if consumption warrants this type of punishment.
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