Caning part-time model undermines moderate identity of Malaysia, says Islamic women's body

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Petaling Jaya (Malaysia), Oct.1 (ANI): The Sisters in Islam (SIS) has said the decision to whip part-time model Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno for drinking beer undermines the Malaysian Government's efforts in portraying Malaysia as a moderate Islamic country.

The Star quoted SIS board member Zainah Anwar as saying that while the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister have always tried to project Malaysia as a model Islamic country, whipping was unacceptable and could be seen as too severe.

She said Malaysia had attracted international attention because of the Kuantan Syariah High Court's decision to whip the 32-year-old, along with other issues such as the fatwa on yoga and tomboys.

"Foreigners are interested to come to our country because of the moderate image we portray but, when they come here, they are shocked to find the level of conservatism practised. So where is this model Muslim country we have been trying to promote?" asked Zainah at a press conference at the SIS office yesterday.

SIS executive director Dr Hamidah Marican called for a repeal of laws, which allow for whipping as punishment, regardless of whether it was in civil or Syariah legislation. (ANI)

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