KAJANG: The three Muslim women who recently became the first in the country to be caned for committing syariah offences gave a blow-by-blow account of their experience. The women were caned at the Kajang Women's Prison on Feb 9 after they were found guilty of engaging in illicit sex.
Two of them were caned six times while the third woman was given four strokes of the rotan. Their partners were given the same punishment in the male prison.
One of them was released on Feb 14 after serving a month in jail. The other two women are still serving their sentences. One of them will be released this month and the other in June.
According to the three women, at least 10 people witnessed the caning. They included religious officials, a Home Ministry official and a lawyer from the Bar Council.
So far, caning of women prisoners is only authorised at Kajang Prison and only four female prison officials are authorised to carry it out.
The three women, aged between 17 and 25, said they were clothed and were seated when the sentence was carried out.
Each stroke of the cane was administered at one-minute intervals using a thin rattan cane.
The punishment is supposed to be symbolic and a deterrent rather than aimed at causing pain, unlike the caning of rapists and drug smugglers where a thick rattan cane is used to whip the bare buttocks, which causes the skin to break and leave scars.
The women said Muslim doctors examined them before and after the caning. This was to ensure that they were not injured.
It is understood that the women undergoing the caning sentence must not be pregnant and should be given a clean bill of health before the procedure is carried out.
The three women were very grateful to prison officials for being gentle with them and mentally preparing them for the caning.
The trio were found guilty of committing illicit sex under Section 23 (2) of the Federal Territory Syariah Criminal Act.
The Federal Territory Syariah High Court had issued the caning order between December last year and last month.