Part-time model Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, who was scheduled to be caned yesterday for drinking beer, has been released temporarily after religious authorities taking her to the Kajang prison literally made a U-turn.Kartika was released temporarily as it was not advisable for the sentence to be meted out during the fasting month.
She will now be sentenced after Ramadan.
The Pahang Religious Department enforcement officers, who took Kartika in a van from her parent’s house in Sungai Siput near here, only went 200m away from the house before they were ordered to send her back.
Kartika faces six strokes of the rotan for drinking beer in public but caning was deferred at the 11th hour.
In Kuantan, Pahang’s Religious Affairs, Dakwah, Unity and NGOs committee chairman Datuk Mohd Sahfri Abdul Aziz said the state religious department enforcement officers had gone to Kartika’s house in Sungai Siput, Perak, yesterday to
issue a warrant of arrest for her to be sent to the Kajang Prison for the whipping sentence to be carried out.
At the same time, they received a letter from the Attorney-General’s Chambers advising them to release Kartika temporarily.
However, the sentence remains. She will be caned after the fasting month.
The 32-year-old mother of two girls told reporters outside the district police contingent here in Kuala Kangsar that she wants to be whipped.
“No matter what, I still stand by my decision that I want to be whipped", said Katrina.
On July 20, the Pahang Syariah High Court had fined Kartika RM5,000 and ordered her to be given six strokes of the rotan after she pleaded guilty to drinking beer at a hotel lounge in Cherating last year.
Shukarnor told reporters that he and his daughter had lodged separate police reports to safeguard themselves in the matter.
The 60-year-old resort operator explained that Kartika had decided to go through with the caning to put an end to the agony she and the family had to go through for the past year.
This case has caught international attention from most of the countries in the world. From Australia to Indonesia, Thailand, China, Germany, the United States and Britain, news of her impending sentence has thrust Kartika into the international limelight and into most blog chats.
CNN (Cable News Network), BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) and other leading television stations have also highlighted her case as one of the top stories of the day.
They carried a story of her predicament yesterday, especially when her sentence was temporarily aborted because of the fasting month.
It was also among the top stories for CNN and BBC with both websites listing it as the fifth most popularly read story.
A Google search for her full name resulted in 63,900 hits while there were over 1,700 news stories on Kartika.
There was also a Facebook account listed as “HELP Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno”.
Hopefully, this will be a good lesson to all muslims.