Beer drinker reprieved
The Malaysian woman who was sentenced to six strokes of the cane for drinking beer has had her sentence put on hold indefinitely.
An Islamic court in Pahang state said that the sentence had been too harsh, despite Sharia law demanding such a punishment. Reports from the home minister’s office suggested also that prison departments did not have the essential training to carry out caning in accordance with Sharia law.
The woman, Kartika Sari Dewi Shukamo, had been arrested by Islamic morality police for drinking beer at a beach resort in December 2007.
The caning has been put off until the end of Ramadan, after which a decision will be made whether to press ahead with it or not.
She would have been the first woman to be caned in the Islamic country. A commentary on the reprieve from the Associated Press asked whether a radical brand of Islam was taking root in this traditionally moderate Muslim-majority country.
Kartika lives in Singapore with her Singaporean husband and two children.