Muhyiddin wants religious depts to educate public on caning sentence

PUTRAJAYA: Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today state Islamic religious departments should play their role in educating the public and enhancing understanding on the whipping sentence, which was meted out on three women on Feb 9.
He said it was important that the society as well as the international community understand the issue so as not to create wrong impressions on the country.

"The important thing now is for state Islamic religious departments, perhaps with cooperation from federal agencies, to help enhance understanding about the sentence," he told reporters after chairing a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Human Capital here today.

He said that state governments had been implementing the Syariah law and that the enforcement was under state jurisdictions.

Muhyiddin was asked to comment on the reactions within and outside the country, with some expressing outcry, on the caning sentence meted out on the three women for committing illicit sex.

The three women, aged 18 and in their 20s, were caned at the Kajang Women''s Prison for engaging in illicit sex and each had delivered a child out of wedlock.

They are the first women to receive such punishment under the Syariah law.
The three, who surrendered to the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department (Jawi), said they accepted the punishment and repented.

Muhyiddin said the Syariah Court was empowered punish Muslims who committed offences under the Syariah law.

"Based on this, the punishment is legitimate and in accordance with the law," he said.

Nevertheless, explanation was needed "maybe because this is rather new," he said.

Muhyiddin said the international community might have miscontrued the punishment to be similar to that of a corporal punishment or severe whipping.
He added that in Islam, the approach was more towards educating the offenders and to make them repent.

"It's not the same (as corporal punishment). It far lighter," he said. -- BERNAMA

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