dikutip dari Majalah Time, August 25, 2009/By Baradan Kuppusamy / Kuala Lumpur
Should a Moslem Mother Be Caned for Drinking a Beer?
Malaysia prides itself on being a multi-ethnic democracy where numerous religions co-exist. But its reputation as a moderate Muslim-majority nation has been called into question by a month-long controversy over whether a Muslim mother of two, Kartika Sari Dewi, should be whipped for a peculiar crime: drinking a beer in public. On August 24, Kartika was due to become the first woman in Malaysia to be caned, after an Islamic court sentenced her to six lashes in July. But Islamic officials suddenly delayed the corporal punishment just hours before she was to endure the lashing.
Kartika, 32, had steeled herself to her punishment after having pleaded guilty to consuming alcohol while at a resort in 2007. On Monday morning, she donned an Islamic headscarf, planted a kiss on the cheek of her five-year-old daughter and got into a van that was due to make the 270 km journey to a women’s prison outside the capital Kuala Lumpur. Instead, the van pulled over after just 200 m, while officials from the Prisons Department, the Attorney General’s chambers and the Islamic courts argued over the case. In the end, a decision was made to defer the caning because of the Ramadan fasting season that had started on Sunday. “This is sad, [because] I am being kicked about like a football,” Kartika said on her return home. “I was hoping to be caned and get on with my life.”
As Kartika awaits her punishment, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak spoke out on Tuesday, advising her to appeal her sentence. Kartika’s case has sparked global condemnation, and presumably Najib would prefer not to deal with any body blows to Malaysia’s international status. “I believe the authorities concerned are sensitive on this matter and realize the implications of this case,” he said at a press conference. “I feel the person concerned should appeal to the state authorities and not be so willing to accept the punishment.”
Malaysia operates a dual-track legal system, in which Muslims are bound by Shari’a law for certain issues, while non-Muslims are processed through civil courts. While alcohol consumption is illegal for Muslims according to Shari’a law, many people of the Islamic faith in Malaysia do drink and prosecution for such a crime is rare. Perhaps fearing a backlash from Islamic officials, Kartika lodged a police report on Monday saying she is not a party to the decision to postpone the caning. “We don’t want to be blamed later,” she said, “[by people who might say]that we had avoided punishment and embarrassed Islam.”
Prisons Department officials are also facing a dilemma of how to carry out the caning. “We have have never done it to a woman and we don’t know how to do it,” said a department senior official who asked not to be named. There is not a single female in the department trained in the “Islamic way” to cane. Nevertheless, prominent Islamic officials in Malaysia have expressed disappointment at the reprieve. “The punishment is light and designed to shame, not to cause physically pain,” Harussani Zakaria, an influential cleric, told TIME. “It must be carried out.” Counters Amnesty International’s Malaysia director Nora Murat: “Whipping is a form of torture and should not be condoned.”
Back at her village, Kartika break down into tears as friends come to comfort her. As she counts down the days to her fate, it is Malaysia’s image as a moderate and inclusive Islamic nation that will continue to take a beating.
Malaysia adalah negara yang konsisten menerapkan syariat Islam sebagai sistem pemerintahannya. Tampilannya, negara demokratis. Tetapi, hukumnya dibuat dari ajaran agama (Islam), bukan partisipasi publik. Dengan demikian, kita bisa mengatakan bahwa Malaysia adalah negara Islami.
Namun demikian, saya heran kenapa Malaysia tak kuasa menahan nafsu mereka mencuri beberapa yang menjadi tred-mark kebudayaan kita? Terakhir, tarian Pendet asal Bali. Mereka mengkalaim diri sebagai negara pemilik tarian tersebut dan menjadi iklan untuk menarik wisata di berbagai belahan dunia.
Malaysia adalah negara pencuri yang Islami.
Pertanyaanya kemudian, siapa yang kena hukum potong tangan atas pencurian kebudayaan yang dilakukan pemerintah Malaysia? Memangnya kalau pemerintah yang jadi pelaku pencurian , mau dipotong tangannya? Saya berani jamin, mereka tidak mau. Anda bayangkan jika presiden Malaysia tangan kirinya buntung karena mencuri. (kan malu-maluin!!!)
Ini bisa menjadi pelajaran bagi kita bahwa kita beruntung negara kita masih mendasarkan diri pada hukum manusia. Artinya, hukum yang dibuat atas dasar partisipasi masyarakatnya. Dan, melalaui cara ini, isonomia, istilah Yunani Kuno yang dipopulerkan oleh F. Hayek, dapat kita capai.***