London, Apr. 1 (ANI): In a dramatic turnaround of the 'whip-for-drinking-beer' case, the part-time Malaysian model won't be caned anymore, as the Sultan of Penang has decided to spare her.
Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, a mother of two, received a letter from the Pahang state Islamic department informing her of the sultan's decision.
"As a substitution for the caning, the sultan has ordered Kartika to perform community service for three weeks," The Telegraph quoted her lawyer Adham Jamalullail, as saying.
Sultan Ahmad Shah is the guardian of Islam in Penang.
Most of Malaysia's 13 states are ruled by sultans, who usually play a ceremonial role in governance but have the power to rule in Islamic matters, the paper says.
The order is likely to cool down a fiery debate over whether Sharia laws should intrude into people's private lives in Malaysia.
Kartika's father Shukarnor Abdul Muttalib said she has been told to report to the Islamic department on Friday.
"We will abide by the order ... Kartika will go on with her life," he said.
On July 20, last year, the court ordered her to be caned six times and fined 5,000 after she was caught drinking at a hotel in Cherating on July 11, 2008.
Kartika paid the fine, but the caning has yet to be carried out. (ANI)