Thursday, March 04, 2010

Kartika : The waiting game continues...

Poor Kartika. Just because she is not a VVIP's daughter, her sentence is still hanging in the air. Six months down the line, she is still waiting for her sentence of 6-syariah style caning.

If my memory serves me right, Kartika was first sentenced in July 2009 and was supposed to be caned for consuming alchohol in Pahang. Her sentencing triggers a mini-avalanche with some claiming that this is unprecedented and will put Malaysia in the backwaters of international disdain.

Then, in ride Hishamuddein Hussein with his feeble excuse that the prison department officers were not trained to carry out the sentence. Then comes another with declaration that only prisoners are allowed to be caned, meaning that you have to be in prison to be caned. Later, another excuse of fasting month before the Tengku Mahkota Pahang was quoted in TVnews that the issue will be resolved within 1 month from February.

Kartika had an audience with the Tengku Mahkota on 3rd march 2010. During the audience, Kartika still refuse to appeal against the caning. Tengku Mahkota came out with a statement that the Sultan has the prerogative to pardon eventhough Kartika did not appeal.

In the meantime, 3 women and 4 men were syariah-styled caned for illicit sex where each were caned between 4 to 6 strokes each. Incidentally, the punishment were carried out in Kajang prison on 9th February 2010. They were found guilty by the syariah court between December 2009 and January 2010 and the offnce took place in Kuala Lumpur.

Now, why is Pahang playing a waiting game with Kartika? To cane or not to cane? Say what you want but to me, I say that Pahang is dragging its feet on this case considering :-

  1. Kartika was first sentenced in July 2009 and now, more than six months later, she is still waiting to be sentenced;
  2. Kartika did not appeal her caning sentence and in fact has publicly stated that she wanted to go through the sentence;
  3. Kartika even boared a prison van on the way to be caned before the van make a u-turn and sent her home;
  4. Hishamuddein has now said that the prison department is now able to carry out syariah-style caning;
  5. There are already 7 syariah-styled caning done in February 9, 2010 (although no statements were issued prior to their caning);
  6. Pahang's Tengku Mahkota has publicly stated that the issue will be resolved within a month of Febuary 2010 after Kartika's audience with him;
  7. Now Tengku Mahkota is saying that he needs to report to the Sultan (his father) for a decision;
  8. Now Tengku Mahkota is saying that the Sultan has the prerogative to pardon Kartika. If there is any intention to pardon her (which actually states that Pahang is not willing to caned their syariah offenders), why keep her waiting for more than 6 months? Is there a need to wait for "a divine dream" to resolve the issue?;
  9. So, it is now back to the waiting game for Kartika - to be caned or not to be caned;
The question is - who are we actually kidding? Are we playing to the tune of the international media who descended Pahang (and in the process brings some tourism money) or are we dancing to the tune set by the federal government? If the federal government can carry out the sentence where an offence took place in Kuala Lumpur but the sentence were carried out in Selangor with no record whatsoever whether the seven appeal their sentence, why is Pahang still dragging its feet? Is Pahang trying hard to please its "pembesar negeri" from Sulawesi selatan and happens to be living in Putrajaya?

Let's put an end to Kartika's misery and unnecessary pressure. She is now a divorcee since October 2009 as the waiting game is taking its toll on those involved. Who is responsible for that? Will Pahang state bear the responsibility as the divorce may have taken place due to Its inability to carry out the sentence with "hikmah"? Has the undue publicity cause Kartika her marriage?

I haven't touch on the caning yet. Why is Pahang sentencing 6 strokes of caning for alchoholic consumption and KL syariah court sentenced between 4 to 6 caning for illicit sex? Which is a bigger sin? Or are both of equivalent sins? Should there be a need to standardise the syariah ruling?

Back to Pahang - what is the decision now? Pardoning Kartika is fine but will that be a precedence to other syariah cases as well? If that is the case then it is better for the syariah court to keep mum and pass all the cases to higher ups for pardon. Or is Pahang afraid that the caning will deter Muslims from visiting her in the future. I mean, just look at Cherating and Teluk Chempedak and Kuantan and Temerloh and Pekan too - you will be surprise to see the numbers of so-called Muslims consuming alchohol in public and private places. Don't believe? Try making a trip east soon and you will see what I mean...

Till then...G'nite M'sia...wherever u are...


ahoo said...

Planning is bringing the future into the present so that the govt can do something about it now.

But we do not seem to see any standards across the board. Since, religious issues come under the jurisdiction of the head of state, the rulers may choose to gather and with proper advice set up the syariah laws. Whatever not in line may need Parliament to enact it and made it into laws for conformity sake.

We must have a standard in punishment or sentences, otherwise we creat confusion upon confusion that leads to crisis. Maybe a reknown islamic lawyer can put forth the right recommendation for the purpose of good governance.

nightcaller said...


Religous issues comes under the hereditary state rulers but how sure are we that the head foolow their religion to a T? Saying that, how can we expect the religous authprities to carry out the sentence if they themselves may one day be caught committing the sin? Or will the religous officials turn a blind eye when it involve the state rulers?

One fine example shall be the close family members of an ex-state ruler where the ruling house has change hands (hint : a state where the womenfolks have more "power" then men).

Standardising sentences is fine but the implementing it is not that easy. Each state has its own constituency and it is better not to mess with the alreadu established constituency.

I will love if it can be done but who can and who will?