Like a dog chasing its tail

There seems to be unpreparedness in the ill-formulated Syariah laws. Now, they are trying to pass the buck to the Sultan and put him into an invidious position.

WHILE the three Muslim women caught for engaging in pre-marital sex have been caned, the case of beer-drinking model Kartika Shukarno is still up in the air.
Pahang Islamic Religious Department director Abdul Manan Abdul Rahman had a definitive message when he told us that Kartika’s punishment by caning would be concluded after her audience with the Tengku Mahkota of Pahang.
With this piece of welcome news, the general public breathed a collective sigh of relief that Kartika’s ordeal would soon be over.
Abdul Manan had said, “After receiving the green light, we are prepared to carry out the sentence at any time,” and continued, “Kartika has to seek an audience with the Tengku Mahkota before a decision can be made.”
He also confirmed Tengku’s willingness to grant an audience.
Progress not!
In other words, we are back at square one and nothing has changed.
Although Kartika paid her fine, the second portion of her sentence is delayed because of legal and political controversies. The whipping was postponed till after Ramadan.
She was even advised to appeal. But why should she appeal? And why should she meet the Tengku? She has confessed to her crime, accepted her sentence and paid the fine. She has put the ball firmly in the Syariah court.
However, the authorities are hesitant to whip her as international condemnation and disgust from NGOs and feminist groups, have added to the pressure on Pahang.
Compounding the problem was lack of a suitably trained person to carry out the punishment (for whipping women). To further complicate matters, the Sultan disapproves of the sentence.
What began as a display of power and might, has descended into a farcical loss of face. The authorities knew that Muslims who drink alcohol would be whipped; however, they didn’t envisage that women would drink alcohol (male offenders are routinely whipped and Kartika seems to have set a precedent).