KUALA TERENGGANU: The caning of the two women for committing same-sex act is carried out as a lesson to others to stay away from wrongdoing, says Terengganu state exco for Syariah implementation, education and higher education Satiful Bahri Mamat (pic).
“Their acceptance of the punishment showed that they have repented,” he told a press conference here after the sentence was carried out yesterday.
“It is more to educate than to harm or hurt.
“I believe we may have received harsher canings when we were in school.”
Satiful said the caning, which was witnessed by more than 100 people in a courtroom at the Syariah High Court here, gave a clearer picture of how the punishment was meted out.
“This was done not only to raise public awareness about Syariah caning but also to stop all speculation that the Syariah Court is cruel,” he said.
The two women were wearing white baju kurung with matching headscarves and were seated on a high stool as they were caned.
He said this was different from the usual manner of whipping in which the offender would be stripped and the punishment carried out in a horrific manner.
During the caning, the older woman did not wince when the cane hit her back but the younger woman sobbed.
There were concerns that the force used on the younger woman was stronger than the older one.
Satiful appealed to the public not to shun the two women.
He said the two women, aged 22 and 32, were given a chance to appeal for a lighter sentence but they chose not to do so.
State Syariah chief judge Wan Mohd Zakri Wan Mohd said the caning might look harsh “but it is impossible to determine whether it caused any hurt”.
“We wouldn’t know because we did not feel it but this punishment was carried out according to the Syariah Criminal Procedure Enactment (Terengganu) 2001 where the cane should not be swung from a level higher than the head,” he said.
“We are satisfied with how it was carried out.”