Syariah High Court urged to reconsider public caning of offenders

Kho Teck Wan

KUCHING, Sept 7: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) women’s chief Kho Teck Wan has urged the Syariah High Court to reconsider public presence during the caning of syariah offenders.

In light of the incident in Terengganu on Monday (Sept 3) where two women were caned for attempting same sex relations, Kho expressed concern over the need to carry out such sentences in public.

“Same-sex relationship is banned not only in Islam, but many other religions as well. Those who committed the offence could be punished according to their religious laws.

“However, in this particular case in Terengganu, the punishment was witnessed by over 100 people in public. Every religion teaches us to be compassionate, even in our punishment. I think the public canning of these women is very severe; it is a violation of their human rights,” she said in a statement.

Kho was commenting on the six strokes of the cane sentence imposed on the two women by Kuala Terengganu Syariah High Court, after they were found guilty of attempting same sex relations in April.

“If our society doesn’t punish serial rapists or paedophiles in public, why are we punishing these women in front of so many people?” she queried.

In comparing the same sex relationships with rape and paedophilic acts, Kho believed that instead of canning those who are guilty of same sex relations, society will benefit more, if the identities of serial rapists and paedophiles are made public.

“These perpetrators cause physical and mental harm to the victims and their families. Whereas in the case at Kuala Terengganu, the attempted same sex relations was a consensual act between the two adult females with no victims involved,” she continued.

Kho urged the Syariah High court to reconsider public canning of any kind. — DayakDaily