Saturday, August 22, 2009

Kartika: I want to get on with caning

Family time: Kartika spending quality time with her son Muhammad Azfar, seven, and daughter Wann Kaitlynn Sari Dewi, five, at her father’s house in Sungai Siput, Perak, yesterday. — Reuters

SUNGAI SIPUT: Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, who is to be caned for drinking beer, says she just wants to get on with it.

“I never cried when I was sentenced by the judge. I told myself, alright then, let’s get on with it,” Kartika, 32, said when interviewed at her father’s house here.

She will be the first Malaysian woman to be caned under Syariah laws applicable to Muslims.

The mother of two, who also paid a RM5,000 fine, has asked for the punishment, usually carried out in a closed prison, to be done in public.

She said she had yet to receive any response to her request for a public caning, and is due to be detained in prison for a week beginning Monday, during which time her sentence will be carried out.

Kartika, a Malaysian married to a Singaporean, was caught drinking by religious authorities at a hotel in Kuantan on Dec 11, 2007.

She said she had three glasses of beer before the hotel was raided. She and the other patrons were asked to provide urine samples.

The 20-month ordeal had added to her distress, she said, adding that she respected the law banning alcohol for Muslims and was determined to go through with the punishment – six strokes of the cane.

She will be fully clothed and kneeling, and struck on the backside with a small thin cane using moderate force.

Four court appearances over the offence forced her to quit her full-time hospital job and she has since had to rely on part-time modelling jobs.

“I only declared that I was a model to protect my full-time job ... I felt very humiliated because people used my status as a part-time model to publicise my case,” she said. — Reuters

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