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Malaysian PM urges beer-drinking model to appeal

Malaysian PM urges beer-drinking model to appeal

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak yesterday urged a Muslim model who faces being caned for drinking beer to appeal the sentence and not be "so willing" to accept her fate.
Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, 32, won a temporary reprieve when religious officials who took her into custody ahead of the caning abruptly released her Monday and delayed the punishment until after the fasting month of Ramadan.
She was sentenced by a religious court last month to six strokes. If the punishment is carried out she would be the first woman to face caning under Islamic law in Malaysia, a moderate Muslim-majority country.
The mother-of-two has stared down religious authorities by saying she is ready to be caned, refusing to appeal against her sentence, and challenging them to cane her in public.
In an apparent attempt to defuse a furore over the case, Najib said that while he would not interfere with the Sharia courts which operate alongside the civil court system in Malaysia, there were still avenues for Kartika to appeal.
"I believe the authorities concerned are sensitive on this matter and realize the implications of this case," he told a press conference.
"I feel the person concerned should appeal to the state authorities and not be so willing to accept the punishment."
However, Kartika quickly rejected his advice and said that if the authorities did not want to go ahead with the punishment - which has drawn international headlines - they should say so openly.
"I won't file any appeal," she said. "Carry on and cane me, don't waste my time."
"This is very strange, why are they doing this to me? Even when they decided they wanted to punish me after Ramadan, I only learnt about it through the television news."
Kartika said she had sought the advice of a judge and a religious scholar in her family's home state of Perak, who advised her to "calm down and keep quiet for the time being" while legal authorities discussed her fate.
"For me, I stick to my decision to be caned. When? That is not my decision," said the part-time model who has lived in Singapore for many years.


Updated : 2021-04-21 08:01 GMT+08:00