Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno: Caning spared, yet she prefers that punishment?!

Instead of caning, Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno is to serve a three-week community service at an orphanage. She should be grateful, but in one article she is reported to say that "she thinks it would have been better for her to undergo the original sentence". This convict does really not know how to keep her mouth shut.

I can imagine the Sultan will shriek, "Off with her head!".

Yeah. Why not? Here is her punishment--after a long suspenseful delay--is eventually 'finalised' & surely less harsh than the original caning, and yet she does not express her gratitude. * roll eyes *

Part-time model Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno will do a three-week community service at an orphanage here after Sultan Ahmad Shah, decided to commute her caning sentence for consuming alcohol in public two years ago.

Kartika, 33, arrived here last night and would report at the State Islamic Religious Department (Jaip) enforcement office at 8.30am today.

She was accompanied by her father, Shukarno Abdul Mutalib, 60, sister Ratna Seri Dewi, 35, and uncle Amley Ayatt, 44.

When contacted yesterday, Kartika said she was shocked by the decision which she knew of only after receiving a letter from a Jaip officer in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

The letter, signed by State Islamic Religious and Malay Customs Council (Maip) deputy president Datuk Seri Wan Abdul Wahid Wan Hassan said the sultan of Pahang, as the head of religion in the state, had agreed to commute the caning sentence against Kartika.

The mother of two will instead perform the community service at the Tengku Ampuan Fatimah Children's Home here, starting from today.

"I will perform the duty sincerely but I must admit that I'm sad that I have to be away from my children, Mohamad Azfar, 8, and Wann Kaitlynn Saridewi, 6," she said.

Under the Pahang Syariah Criminal Procedure Code Enactment 2002, the Sultan has the prerogative to reduce or commute a syariah sentence even if a convicted person did not make an appeal against it.

Section 133 of the enactment said the Sultan could make such a decision on the advice of the state mufti.

Early last month, Kartika had an audience with Tengku Mahkota of Pahang, Tengku Abdullah, who is also Maip president.

After the meeting, Tengku Abdullah said that the caning sentence against Kartika would depend on the sultan's decision. When met at a Razak Cup match here yesterday, Tengku Abdullah asked everyone to respect the sultan's decision.

He said the sultan had taken into consideration various factors before making the decision, including the problems faced by Kartika and the fact that it was her first offence.

"It's the sultan's prerogative. The community service will also serve as a lesson to all," said Tengku Abdullah who admitted that he was informed by the sultan about his decision two weeks ago.

On July 20 last year, Kartika was fined RM5,000 (S$2,150) and ordered to be given six strokes of the rotan by the Kuantan Syariah High Court after she pleaded guilty to consuming alcohol in public.

She settled the fine but refused to appeal against the caning sentence, which was postponed several times.

The sentence became the talk of the country and even received coverage in the foreign media.

From Asiaone, "Kartika spared cane, to serve at orphanage".

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.

From Malaysian Insider, "Kartika says she would rather be caned".

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