It takes a girl to defy the whole establishment
I have avoided posting about this story in case it will affect her chances against formidable foes. But her case was mentioned yesterday and I thought things have worked to her favour and her steely guts to defy two powerful authorities should be acknowledged. Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno faces off the Muslim clergies and the Malaysian Govt and defy them to cane her in public. Yes, she broke a religious law, forbidden to drink alcohol, in her case, a glass of beer. And the punitive sentence was caning, 6 strokes. And she stood on her high pedestal and told the authorities, go ahead, cane me in public, get it done with. Her case was prominently reported in many newspapers and media and becomes an embarrassment to the Malaysian Govt. This is a govt that is torned between trying to be secular and trying to be Islamic at the same time, one day clenching their fists shouting Allah is Great and another day calling for moderation to avoid being branded as another radical Islamic state. Kartika's caning was postposed in view of Ramadan. And the Home Affairs Minister Hishamuddin in a press interview declared that his ministry did not have the expertise to do the caning. PM Najib advised Kartika to appeal against the sentence. And to date she refuses. She is still calling the religious authority to cane her in public. I dare you!. And to complicate matter, in order to cane her they had to imprison her, which added to her punishment. Now the Malaysian authority is caught with over punishing her for a minor crime. To go ahead with the caning would put Malaysia in the same league as radical Muslim states. How could Malaysia, a model of modern Islamic state be seen to uphold an infringement to a religious law by a woman, for drinking beer, and deal with her so harshly? Would Malaysia take the moderate path or push ahead with its religious laws? That is a tricky question. And Kartika is still standing tall, as the little girl that takes on a govt and a religious order run by powerful men.