Malaysian Home Minister clears sentence of whip-for-beer-drinking model

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Kuala Lumpur, Sep. 6 (ANI): Malaysian Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has "cleared" the Prisons Department to cane part-time model Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, who is being sentenced for drinking beer.

Last week, department director-general Zulkifli Omar and a woman officer came to Home Minister's office to demonstrate the caning sentence.

"She tapped the back of a chair with the cane. There was little force involved and it was not going to inflict pain, not even like the caning carried out in schools in those days.

"I am now satisfied that the caning can be carried out by the department if the court decides to proceed and enforce the sentence," the Star Online quoted him, as saying.

Hishammuddin said that although he was now satisfied that the department was able to conduct the caning, he still felt it had no experience to do so.

"This is because the woman (Kartika) will be the first to be caned. Four men who have received caning sentences by the Syariah Court are appealing their sentences," he said.

"That is not their purview. It is the judicial process which decides that. If the caning sentence is to be imposed, it is their duty to carry it out fairly," he added.

Kartika, a 32-year-old mother-of-two, was fined 5,000 ringgits and ordered to be whipped six times for drinking beer in a hotel in Cherating last year.

Her sentence has been deferred until after Ramadan.

Several parties, such as the Bar Council, have called for the sentence to be annulled.

Kartika's father, Shukarno Mutalib, when contacted, said the family was happy to hear that the department was able to handle the caning.

"Alhamdullillah. Kartika wants it over and done with," he said. (ANI)

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