KUALA LUMPUR, 25 Aug 2009: Corporal punishment in enforcing syariah law, especially on women, should be the last choice, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
He said enforcement of syariah law should first go through the process of educating the offenders and be tempered with mercy and compassion, and that the authorities concerned should not make women the victims.
“There are already too many cases involving divorce and maintenance claims where women are the victims when there is no enforcement of the decisions made by the syariah courts,” he said at the launching of the National Women’s Day 2009 celebrations, here, tonight.
Najib said sympathy, compassion and the “tarbiah” (education) process were the essence of Islamic teachings that were practised and enjoined by Prophet Muhammad, and which Muslims should follow.
“We must not go overboard … we must look at Islam as a religion that is fair, just, merciful and compassionate and above all, it gives the opportunity to redeem and correct oneself, which is more important than punishment.
“I hope the right people would hear what I have just said.”
Najib was clearly referring to the caning sentence that the Kuantan Syariah Court has ordered against 32-year-old part-time model Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno for consuming alcohol.
Her sentence has caused public outrage and adverse international media attention on Malaysia which is often touted by the government to be a model Muslim nation.
Earlier, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said her caning would be postponed until the ministry had the expertise to carry out the sentence according to syariah laws. — Bernama
The Nut Graph needs your support