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Najib on caning: Who’s listening?

“Islam is a religion of compassion and mercy. It is not about corporal punishment. That is the last resort.

“That’s how it should be practised. We must not go overboard.”

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak commenting on the sentencing of Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno in July 2009 to six cane strokes after she pleaded guilty to consuming alcohol. Najib said giving people a chance to redeem and correct themselves was more important than punishment and he hoped the “right people” would hear what he said.

Najib added that women should not be victimised in the enforcement of syariah laws. (Source: PM: Corporal punishment must be the last resort, The Star, 26 Aug 2009)

“I think the affected party should appeal to the state authorities and not be so willing to accept the punishment.”

Najib urging Kartika to appeal her caning sentence. (Source: Najib steps in over Kartika row, Malaysian Insider, 25 Aug 2009)

“Based on the interview with the three women offenders, it was found that they accepted the punishment with an open heart, and had realised and repented for their offences.

“Although the caning did not result in any wound on their bodies, they admitted it left a deep impact on them. They hope other women would refrain themselves from doing things which are against Islam.”

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein defending the 9 Feb 2010 caning of three Muslim women for being involved in “illicit sex”. He also said the issue should not be misunderstood or played up as it was done according to the laws and did not cause any injury to the offenders.  (Source: Women caned for the first time, theSun, 17 Feb 2010)

“When the Prime Minister received JAG’s Memorandum ‘Justice for Kartika, Stop Whipping, End Corporal Punishment for All Offences’ on 25 August 2009, he agreed that it was ‘not right’ for Kartika to be whipped and she should make an appeal to the courts. [...]

“Despite the above assurances and the call for compassion and reason, your ministry sanctioned the whipping of three women and four men.”

An open letter by the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) to Hishammuddin expressing their concern over the 9 Feb 2010 caning of the three Muslim women for “illicit sex”. JAG expressed concern at the Home Minister’s focus on moral policing and called for the repeal of provisions in religious and municipal laws that denied citizens their fundamental rights. (Source: An open letter to YB Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, 25 Feb 2010) favicon

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