Thursday, August 27, 2009

Why Can't Kartika Be Whipped?

When I was in Hong Kong during the last few days, I was asked by a number of fellow consultants and journalists about the Pahang Syariah High Court judge's ruling to impose a whipping sentence against a Muslim lady, Ms Kartika, who was caught drinking beer at a lounge.

The news item was the only major report on Malaysia in CNN and BBC in the last few days. I am not going to repeat some of the remarks made by these international journalists and consultants here. The remarks were not very favourable to Malaysia. A friend told me that it was even worse than medieval.

Dr Mahathir was right to call the sentence too harsh. He added that the sentence had given a wrong impression of the Islamic law. Dr M said Islam is compassionate to first time offenders. It should focus on rehabilitating the offenders rather than humiliating them.

Malaysia's international image as a Muslim-majority democracy will surely be tainted if the authority is adamant to carry out the sentence. How would Kartika's children feel to see their mom being whipped in public for her beer drinking offence? Are those committing incest and adultery being treated the same?


Anonymous said...

Brother, it happened in PM state. TDM is right. Infact read Hadi Awang remarks on the issue and that represented the true Islamic ruling.
The merciful and forgiving and most compassionate but some id807s around this country are full of lazy brain.
You know and many people know but only the ruling elites are mostly hypocrites while majority of Malaysians are half sleeping and we are taken for a ride. Habis la kita ma......takda harapan ma!!!!!how to cari makan!!!

Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...


When punishment is heavier than the crime
What can be more sour than the lime
When you can't whitewash with slime
What else can you see when blind

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 280809
Fri. 28th Aug. 2009.

Anonymous said...

Dont talk about Syariah Law if you know nothing about it.

Thats Muslim problem to face the world. Not you.

jotan said...

what happened to the ex minister who got drunk and sexual molested the waitress ? He got away not even a slap on the hand, yeah Malaysia Boleh !

kiwicharles said...

To begin with I am not a Muslim myself.
I think the women always wanted to be treated equal in everything. Why then should this woman be treated differently in this instance ?
I think alcohol is 'bad' for anyone and everyone just look at the number of drunk drivers killing innocent people on the road, wife abusers because of alcohol not to mention the many evils it brings. What good does it bring ?
Surely life can go on without it, there is the false believe that all successful business men must drink and smoke. I know of many very successful men who do not drink nor smoke yet they are very successful.
You do not have to be a Muslim not to smoke or drink ?
So let this be a lesson to all who drink and/or smoke.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with Khoo and many others. If Malaysian law dictates that a Muslim is subject to Syariah law, Muslims should adhere to it. There is this option of Muslim opting for Syariah or Common law and naturally one would chose the lesser punishment law. Even the culprit admitted and wholeheartedly willing to be whipped. What is so wrong with this? Who are the non Muslims like Khoo to decide for Syariah court? Would US or Singapore or Indonesia or Japan or HK or UK like it if Malaysia interferes with their court rulings? But unfortunately our courts' reputation is something else.

But I would like to see some consistency in implementation of Syariah law. A thief would have his hands cut off and adulterer his penis cut off. So I would like to see some UMNO fellas' hands and penis cut off. Can we whip law minister's son for drinking beer?

Don't we love to see some handless and penisless ex-Ministers?

Tulang Besi said...

I am confused. Why are these journalists and talking heads so objectionable to the application of a law that has been passed and gazzetted?

Are you saying these people are questioning the principle of rule of law which is being applied in this case.

What a bunch of hypocrites these people are.

Anonymous said...

Malaysia is seen as a progressive Muslim country and a model for other Muslim nations to follow. That's what Obama thinks we are. It is the right of Syariah Laws to impose maximum sentence on Muslims according to their own set laws but a moderate Muslim country must take into account, grace and mercy and what is deem moderate for those who pled guilty and being repentant. Caning a repentant lady for drinking beer to me doesn't fall into moderation.

Anonymous said...

I learned two new things from this incident.

[1] In Malaysia, Syariah Law is not implemented universally as the Mufti in each state has his own interpretation on this beer drinking offence (or any wrongdoing for that matter).

[2] Malaysia's very own Mr. Kris said the authorities have not had the experience to execute the whipping. Obviously, this is contrary to subsequent claim made that such punishment had been carried out before.

If the authorities do not know how to carry out the punishment, there is no need to establish the law as it cannot be metted out. If the case does not have any precedent, there is always the first-time to deal with it.

Khoo Kay Peng said...

Tulang Besi,

These journalists were there, like me, to cover an album preview at the invitation of a record label.

It does not matter if they are hypocrites or not. Yes, people should not question our rule of law. But not all rules are consistent with fairness and equality.

Muslims can continue to live in isolation and condemn whoever questioning their 'rule of law' but it is a fact that the Syariah law cannot avoid being compared with other legislation.

Should the ISA be questioned? Based on your argument, NO.

What if tomorrow the parliament passes a law to discriminate all non-Muslims or women, we should also keep quiet for fear of being branded anti-Islam or hypocrites.

Who are the bigger hypocrites? Those who kept mum on bigger scandals and crime or those who wanted a rehabilitation and a kinder sentence against a mom?

You know what? Despite of what you think, the BBC, CNN, Reuters, Times and others have a bigger influence on people around the world than any NGO in Malaysia which supported the sentence.

The last I checked, Malaysia is still situated somewhere on the planet Earth.

Khoo Kay Peng said...

Anon 9.40am,

Yes, consistency is very important.

Anonymous said...

I don't agree to public whipping, but that is the rule of law and it has take its course.
Whipping katrina is more appropriate action than restrict beer selling. Beer is a drink, beer is innocent, muslim who drank it commit offence. No way you lock the beer out, you whipped the muslim drinker, much better dicission. By doing so, hopefully beer can sell more openly to non-muslim. Because most drinker understand beer did not make you drunk but attitude did.

Anonymous said...


You, me & all non Muslim know it's not right to cane Kartika just for drinking beer.

It "has" created International outrage...!!!

What about our rapist, incest, men drinking beer, khalwat & etc.., etc.....????????

All these "unholy" things done by men to hurt women...???
Except khalwat that's "consented" by both men & women lah...!

Are they already caned & had their penis chopped off...????

Any consultation done & given to the female victims...???
Their families..??????

Anonymous said...

Read somewhere:

"Malaysia, truly Taliban"

In a world where perception is reality, do we need this type of perception? While as a non-Muslim, I will not comment on the rightness or wrongness of the case, we as Malaysians who are affected when tourism and FDI drops should be very concerned ...

Anonymous said...

Khoo, good arguement to Tulang Besi's comment!
Those draconian law should be cast away a long time ago, do we have a Law Ministry to look into this?

Anonymous said...

dear Anon 8.03am

"Dont talk about Syariah Law if you know nothing about it"

why not... it is a "barbaric laws" that bring nothing good to mankind.

The world is not consisted of Muslim only...'Muslim problems' will enventually become the problems for the world.


Anonymous said...

Well said, KHOO!!! (refering to your comment to TULANG BESI)

There are things of which will NEVER change. I wonder is it becos' there are naive people who insist things NOT to be changed or is that they had been isolating themselves in misery resulting things to be still the same.

Honestly, I would say the recent KARTIKA saga had brought shame to MALAYSIA & MALAYSIANS as a whole. I wouldn't be surprised if there are foreigners who perceive MALAYSIA just like AFGHANISTAN.

Anonymous said...

I think Karthika should be go for syco evaluation.I think she is mentally unstable looking at the way she is behaving lately.Perhaps she deliberately went about drinking beer in the open to put herself in this position.Perhaps she is been paid by someone to paint a bad picture of the country or the government.Anything is possible.If she wants to be canned so badly just cane herlah and get over with it.what is all this fuss aboout canning her.


Anak Perelih said...

the answer is.. these journalists / news agencies have their own motif... you just imagine.. of all things happened in Malaysia last week such as Permatang Pasir byelection etc.., why did they covered / intrested only about Kartika being whipped??? Their motif was called ISLAMOPHOBIA... Phobia on anything about Islam.....

Anak Perelih said...

BTW... talking about consistancy... That's whby UMNO leaders are afraid with HUDUD and PAS...

Anonymous said...

I think it's very hypocritical to whip Karthika only, why i see plenty of moslem men & women who drank in public (and most of these people are of higher societies, and hold important posts as well in gov't positions, and in MNCs), and doing all kind of indecency publicly, and why no punishments for them???

What about corruption? Shouldn't these moslems vermins be caned as well?

Singapore may well be known as a "fined nation", why don't Malaysia be known as a "Caned nation"?

Anonymous said...

eh! People will make comments on what Malaysia does. We are judge by laws of humanity as practicised in the 21st century. If Malaysia want to be part of the global village, that is how the we will be viewed. Any other head in the sand position is silly and stupid. Wake up.

chapchai said...

I have a question for the wiser bloggers : if a born Muslim, when he grows up, does not agree with Syariah law and the teachings of Islam and wants to to convert to another religion, is this possible?

Malaysian said...

If people want to regress into the medieval times and still feel proud of themselves, so be it.
They don't realize what the world thinks of them for they prefer to remain in their convoluted cocoon.
But what I detest is the hypocrisy of those in power.
Who is going to cane the well-heeled who drink liquor in Golf Clubs, 5-star hotels and MAS flights.
You think any religious officials will have the b***s to arrest them? They only go after the common men and women who have no cables to pull.
I ask these religious bigots - cast the first stone if you have no sin - or rather be the first the cane Kartika if you are sinless.

Anonymous said...

Different mufti have different punishments for beer-drinking muslim?
It looks like the punishment is not between God and human.Rather,it is a matter of human opinions which differ from one to another.

Anonymous said...

That's why religion should not be mixed with the law. They are two different entities.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the sentence is too harsh as compared to the offence. It gives a backward archaic outlook to the country. I earnesly wish to believe that Malaysia is an examplary Muslim country that is modern , progressive and forward looking. This will definitely give offensive and negative vibes to foreign investors who want to invest in this country.

Anonymous said...

aiyaaaa, mau hantam ...hantam laa cepat , tausa cakap manyak ....!!

Anonymous said...

Uncle Khoo this is God's Law, we dun know the reason 4 such punishment because God is all knowing ma

Anonymous said...

Because of their so called "rule of law" and their barbaric cruel and inhumane treatment of their prisoners, foreingers, migrant workers and now women, the rest of the civilized world should not continue to do business by trading or investing financially with these people. When their tourism and ecconomy fails maybe they will wake up and join the rest of the people on this earth that regard their flogging frenzy as deliberate cruelty which is unforgivable and for which their is no defense for this.