Our grammar lesson is over. No commas, semi-colons or colons but a FULL STOP! The NST completes this sentence in its edition on Saturday, April 3, 2010.
Former model, Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, yesterday began her three-week community service at Tengku Ampuan Fatimah Children’s Home here after her caning sentence for consuming alcohol in public was commuted by the Pahang Sultan, Sultan Ahmad Shah.
Kartika, 33, was taken to the centre under heavy escort by the state Islamic Religious Department (Jaip) officers and policemen at 9.45am.
She had earlier reported herself at the Jaip enforcement office where she was briefed on the replacement sentence.
The mother of two was accompanied by her father, Shukarno Abdul Mutalib, 60, sister Ratna Seri Dewi, 35, uncle Amlir Ayat, 43, and her lawyers.
At the children’s home, Kartika was seen crying after she attended an hour-long briefing by the centre’s administration officials.
When met at the Sultan Abu Bakar state mosque earlier, Kartika admitted that she had a mixed feeling when asked to do the community service instead of being caned six times.
On July 20 last year, Kartika was fined RM5,000 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.
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.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian Muslim Lawyers Association yesterday expressed its disappointment over the Pahang Sultan’s decision to commute the caning sentence against a former model and replace it with a three-week community service.
Its secretary-general Abdul Halim Bahari said the decision had failed to take into consideration Kartika’s wish to be caned according to syariah law for the offence that she had committed.
This model sentence should serve as a wake-up call for all governments and religions to ensure that they comply with Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. ‘No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.’