The royals of Malaysia are getting involved in the controversy over a Muslim woman who was sentenced to six caning strokes last year for drinking beer. On Wednesday, Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, 33, met with the Crown Prince of the Pahang state, the same place where she drank the beverage at a hotel bar.
“Kartika had an audience with the Pahang Crown Prince for about 30 minutes this morning but we are not in a position to make any comment on what transpired,” Kartika’s spokesman Amlir Ayat told AFP.
“Any decision or announcement will be made by the palace.” Amlir said.
Ms. Shukarno’s sentence was suspended six months ago and it is believed that it will be carried out following her meeting with the Pahang royal. She previously asked for authorities to punish her as planned.
This issue has brought up whether multi-ethnic Malaysia is becoming too strict religiously. Recently, three women were caned for having sex out of wedlock.
As for Pahang Crown Prince Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, he told state media that he would discuss Kartika’s case with the Sultan soon.
“This case will be settled as soon as possible. It just needs scrutiny in terms of the implementation of the penalty,” he was quoted as saying by national news agency Bernama.
The Crown Prince said Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin can pardon Ms. Shukarno.