'If you're going to cane me, then do it in public'
By ANDREW BUNCOMBE - THE INDEPENDENT
Added: Fri, 21 Aug 2009 23:00:00 UTC
A initial link to this incident was posted on 20-Aug here
Thanks to LWS for the link.
She says it was only the second time she had drunk alcohol in her life, and even then it was just a few of glasses of beer. But it was enough for a Muslim court in Malaysia to order Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, a part-time model and mother-of-two, to be caned. The corporal punishment case has divided the Asian nation and led human rights campaigners to urge the authorities to show restraint.
Now, in her first interview, Ms Kartika has urged the authorities to carry out the punishment in public. "I never cried when I was sentenced by the judge," she told Reuters at her father's house in a village 200 miles north of Kuala Lumpur. "I told myself, all right then, let's get on with it."
Ms Kartika, who would be the first woman to be caned in the Muslim-majority country, is actually a citizen of neighbouring Singapore, and does not even live in Malaysia. But last year she was caught drinking at a hotel in Kuantan in the eastern Malaysian state of Pahang during a police raid. Under Malaysian law, while it is legal for non-Muslims to drink alcohol, Muslims – even foreigners – may not.
Thanks to Graham for another good link
The 32-year-old will receive six lashes at a woman's prison next week in what is being viewed as an example of the growing influence of Islamic hardliners on the country.
The mother-of-two who lives in Singapore with her husband, paid a fine of Â£860, but declined to lodge an appeal so she could get the punishment over with and put the episode behind her.
The harsh sentence has provoked anger among women's rights groups who fear it is another sign of the creeping influence of conservative Islam on Malaysian society.
In the northern backwater state of Kalentan ruled by the hardline Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, authorities have decreed that supermarkets must have separate checkout queues for men and women and beaches be segregated.
Young couples caught sitting too close together on park benches in the state capital, Kota Baru, are hunted down by the city's moral enforcers and fined up to Â£285 in Sharia courts.
The Islamic alcohol prohibition laws in Malaysia's eastern Pahang state date back more than two decades. But Malaysian-born Kartika, who now has Singaporean citizenship, is the first woman to fall foul of them.
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