KUANTAN, MALAYSIA - A 32-year-old part-time model from Singapore charged with having a beer in a nightclub last year was ordered by the Syariah High Court yesterday to receive six strokes of the rotan.
Kartika Sari Sewi Shu-karno, who pleaded guilty to consuming alcohol in public when she made her first court appearance in December, was also fined RM5,000 (S$2038.50).
The model, who wore a blue baju kurung and black headscarf, kept her head down and was silent as judge Datuk Abdul Rahman Yunus read out the sentence. He said the accused could face a three-year jail term if she could not pay the fine while the rotan would be carried out by federal prison authorities.
He said the sentence was under Section 136 of the Pahang Islamic and Malay Traditional Practices Enactment 1982 (amendment 1987).
"The court reached the judgment after the accused pleaded guilty. We feel the sentence is fair after going through the prosecution's argument and since the rotan is provided for in the law.
"The rotan is aimed at making the accused repent and serves as a lesson to Muslims."
Kartika committed the offence at a hotel night club in Cherating and was arrested during a raid by a team from the state religious department at 1.20am on July 12, 2007.
Her lawyer Mohd Zuki Che Muhamad Ghani said he would file an application for a stay of execution pending an appeal.
This is the second time the Syariah Court here has imposed whipping on a female. The first was on a waitress and a man who were caught together with Kartika during the same operation in Cherating.
The 38-year-old from Kemaman, Terengganu, and the 22-year-old waitress from Selangor were also fined RM5,000 each and ordered to receive six strokes of the rotan.
However, the whipping has yet to be carried out in these cases which are pending appeal.
The sentence for consuming alcohol was made stiffer when the Islamic Religious Administration and Pahang Malay Tradition Enactment 1982 was amended in 1987.
Under Section 136 of the enactment, those who are found guilty can be fined up to RM5,000 or jailed a maximum of three years, or both, and sentenced to six strokes of the rotan.