Kartika says she would rather be caned
By Debra Chong (The Malaysian Insider)
KUALA LUMPUR, April 1 — Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno would rather be caned than undergo community service.
The mother of two was sentenced to six strokes of the rotan and fined RM5,000 for drinking beer at a hotel in Cherating two years ago.
The caning sentence was replaced earlier this week by the Sultan of Pahang who is also the head of Islam in the state.
He ordered her to perform community service at a children’s home in Kuantan for three weeks. Kartika (picture), 33, said she respected the Sultan’s decision and would follow it.
But when asked if she thinks it would have been better for her to undergo the original sentence, she said firmly:
“Yes. Because they already sentenced me. If they couldn’t make it, they should have asked their legal advisers.”
“I don’t want Islam to be fitnahed (sic)... For those who study law, this thing is not in the enactment,” she added, referring to the Islamic criminal law.
She declined to comment when asked if the change was just.
She pointed out that it was the Sultan’s prerogative. Kartika said she would abide by his order because she respected his authority.
Kartika, 33, was speaking to reporters at a hastily-arranged conference here after meeting up with her sister who had just bussed in.
The former model was also accompanied by her father and uncle.
The Perakian said they were leaving immediately for Pahang.
She was required to meet the state’s Islamic religous enforcers at their office in Kuantan at 9am sharp tomorrow.
The Pahang Islamic Religion and Malay Adat Resam Council had on March 26 issued Kartika a letter stating that the sultan had ordered her sentence to be replaced.
The letter directed her to serve at the Tengku Ampuan Fatimah Children’s Home in Kuantan for three weeks from April 2.
Kartika said she was only told the work required her to be indoors. She added that she would only know the rest after speaking with the enforcers.
Kartika who had recently split from her husband said she had learnt a lot from the episode.
“I truly regret drinking that alcoholic beverage,” she said, casting her large expressive eyes downwards.
She appeared flustered by the media attention. Asked if she now considered her case closed, she said: “I don’t know yet, the thing is not settled. I hope this thing can be settled. I leave the rest to be resolved by the experts.”
Kartika, who is currently unemployed, said she was still uncertain about her future but hoped to pursue plans involving the care of her firstborn Muhammad Azfar Affandi, 10, who suffers from cerebral palsy.
She politely declined to elaborate.