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‘Caning in Islam not an act of torture’

KOTA BARU: Kelantan wants to show the world the proper caning method, as the pu­­nishment meted out under Syariah laws is aimed at teaching and not an act of torture, said State Islamic Development Committee chairman Datuk Nassuruddin Daud.

He said imposing caning outside the prison was timely to show the world how it should be done under Syariah laws.

“Unlike whipping in Western-influenced secular laws that can cause bleeding, caning in Islam is not meant to torture the convict but to teach the offender a lesson so as not to repeat the offence.

“That is why we went to great lengths to explain the method, including the directive not to hold the cane above the shoulder when punishing the convicted person, so that the pressure would be less and not cause bodily injuries.

“We have even specified the maximum length and diameter of the cane,” he said, adding that the length of the cane must be 1.22m with a diameter of 1.25cm.

Nassuruddin said this in response to mixed reaction from public interest groups after the Kelantan Legislative Assembly passed the Syariah Criminal Procedure Enactment (2002) Amendment (2017) Bill that allowed caning outside the prison walls.

In a related development, PAS information chief Nasrudin Hassan hit out at critics who condemned the Kelantan government for imposing public caning.

“It is unfortunate they are airing views that are far from the truth,” he said.

He said those airing views from a narrow perspective would not see the bigger picture.

“You won’t be able to describe the elephant before you if you only hold its leg,” he added.

He said that although the amendment to the Enactment involved various other matters to further improve the Syariah criminal procedures, critics tend to harp only on public caning.

“Critics accused Kelantan of being obsessed with punishment. But is it not ironic that the critics are obsessed with punishing Kelantan without checking the details?” he asked.

Nasrudin added that the critics did not understand the difference between corporal pu­­nish­ment and measures undertaken for social security.

Related story:

MCA: PAS amendments a political move

PAS , bureaus