PUTRAJAYA, 25 Aug 2009: The caning of 32-year-old part-time model Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno for consuming alcohol is postponed until the Home Ministry has the expertise to carry out the sentence according to syariah laws, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
He said the Prisons Department did not have staff who were experienced to mete out the punishment according to syariah.
“I have to admit we do not have experience in this case. From the aspect of responsibility, I understand that under the country’s laws, we (the Home Ministry) are responsible; but I cannot allow it if we do not have the expertise [and] the skills, and do not follow the ways set,” Hishammuddin told reporters after chairing a meeting of national main productivity indicators leadership at his ministry here.
He said this when asked by reporters to comment on the postponement of the caning sentence for Kartika, who admitted in the Kuantan Syariah Court on 18 July to drinking alcohol at a hotel in Cherating, Pahang.
Yesterday, Pahang Religious Affairs, Dakwah, Unity and NGOs committee chairperson Datuk Mohd Safri Abdul Aziz was reported to have said the postponement was decided by Pahang Syariah Chief Judge Datuk Abdul Rahman Yunus to respect the month of Ramadan.
Hishammuddin said the Prisons Department did not have a person to cane the syariah way, as all this while there has been no requirement for that position to be created.
“As long as the Home Ministry is not ready, the sentence will not be carried out. To me, if we do not have the person to do this, how are we to carry out the sentence fairly?
“Islam says that we are to carry it out according to law and be fair. If we can have one [person to do the caning] in a day, I am ready tomorrow [to carry out the sentence],” he said.
When asked for the need to have a syariah prison to handle syariah cases and sentences, Hishammuddin said it was not required now. — Bernama