Let’s talk about canes – Colin Boyd Shafer (Malaysian Inside) – 2010-03-02 08:25:44
MARCH 2 — Before coming here (to Malaysia), I never thought much about canes but when I did, it was usually in a positive light.
Walking canes help the disabled, elderly, and hikers live more active and comfortable lives.
When my grandmother broke her hip, she needed a cane. The cane was an important instrument for her to support herself on.
As a camp counselor, I loved making walking canes with my campers.
The children loved feeling mature and sophisticated walking with a cane, looking like Confucius on the mountain.
Speaking of that, if you ever try to climb Malaysia’s great Mt. Kinabalu make sure you bring a cane, and lots of energy! In short, a cane can help individuals.
Many of my travels as a child took me through parts of the world where sugar cane is produced.
Sugar cane is indigenous to Southeast Asia, but today one third of all sugar cane production comes from Brazil.
Sugar cane can be refined into table sugar; cane juice with lemon and ice makes a delicious drink called caldo de cana; cane can also be used to make ethanol (biodiesel for Brazilian cars), distilled cane becomes Cachaca the popular Brazilian alcohol, and some people just chew sugar cane raw.
In other words, the cane can be very useful to society.
Growing up in Canada it was common to receive heaps of candy canes in December. I could always count on my teacher to give me a cane during the holidays. Candy canes are delicious and sweet. In this case, the cane brings joy to many people’s lives.
But the word “cane” carries a different significance now for the average Malaysian.
Last April in Seremban, Chan Qi Xian died after being caned by his teacher. He was a little boy who made mistakes. Tragically, he’ll never have the opportunity to make the same mistakes again. He needed to learn from his — not die from them.
Recently, this physical reprimand has been applied by syariah law.
In 2007, Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno was caught drinking in a hotel bar. She was sentenced to caning but the punishment is on hold.
To the international observer, it may seem like a Malaysian Muslim drinking in a bar is a rare sighting. I asked Malaysians if they knew Muslims who drank regularly in bars. They all said yes. Does this surprise you? Why was Kartika singled out?
Last month, Syariah caning took place in Malaysia for the first time. Three women were quietly caned before the media could respond, for sex before marriage.
Are these the only three Muslim women (or men) who have done this? Is this really a crime worth international attention?
Syariah caning is done with a “limp wrist”, meant to shame — not to hurt, but is it the severity of the physical pain that should be focused on?
Whether it is a light tap or a hard rap, whether it leaves bruises, or the receiving party actually wanted it, caning is not an appropriate action to take against drinking, pre-marital sex, and misbehaving children.
Are they just making an example of these individuals? If every Muslim is caned for drinking beer or having illicit sex in Malaysia, the country will be a very different place: a scary place for many Muslims I know — especially those who are Muslim by name (Malay) but not by conscience.
If this is a fair law then it should be applied all the time, not just symbolically. Can you imagine how many people would need to be punished?
Why do I joke about such a serious matter? Maybe because the actual offenses are not so serious? If they are applying a serious punishment to an unserious crime, one can’t help but laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation.
Just because someone makes a mistake, just because someone is in the wrong — it does not make that person a criminal. Or at least not someone who deserves such an odd punishment.
A child has died, and women have been hurt (limp wrist or not), if only publicly embarrassed over a private matter.
Many different peoples with many different points of view will be reading this, but can’t we all agree that the punishment should fit the crime?
I have obviously been very fortunate in regards to the “canes” I have encountered. I am a non-Muslim, non-Malaysian, non-woman, and non-child, yet I feel compelled to comment on this issue.
I am not an expert on corporal punishment caning or syariah law caning, I simply want to comment on this “punishment”, not the “belief behind it.”
If a punishment is just, then it should be transparent and able to withstand scrutiny. I don’t think silencing/censoring/ignoring different views helps anyone (ie. the recent reprimand of The Star for having a non-Muslim comment on this issue).
Some types of “canes” can be beneficial to society. It’s just that I don’t believe that this particular type of cane, used in these particular instances, benefits society.
Why use the cane to hurt non-criminal women and children? Every single person reading this, myself included, has made mistakes. We can learn without being caned. Sometimes it seems like Malaysian society is limping along with a cane. Let’s cast it aside and walk proudly and ethically through the 21st century.
[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]
Chan Qi Xian had the spirit literally struck from his body. The intent of the whipper was so vicious that the delicate ungrown spirit guiding the health of the boy thought it was time to depart and never returned. Bereft of the his spirit, Chan Qi Xian’s health deteriorated and he died.
Man has multiple intelligences guiding aspects of his existence. Man’s *HEALTH* (when physically struck / even casually touched with ill intent (some Bomohs, and hence the aurat and no touching culture) / gazed at with envy or desire (hence the Niqab or Burkha) / impacted from unnatural Auric interaction with Power lines, Broadband Emitters, Telecommunications towers (Cancer causing) / separated from loved ones, seperated from home (NS deaths) / incarcerated in prison (Kugan) / or even fed with foods laced with ill intent from corrupted Souls – take care of who does the cooking) / or even lowered population growth from the Libido being suppressed by overpowering family Dynasties where none should exist in supposedly Democratic nations, *MIND* (when poisoned/murdered by CERTAIN BRANDS of Socialisation/Psychology/NLP), emotions (when poisoned/murdered by VICIOUS persons causes Scientology’s ‘Suppressive Persons’), *SPIRIT* (when poisoned/murdered by contact with EVIL persons/places, causes corruption, nepotism), social capacity (when poisoned/murdered by vaccinations causes the Autism), or even suppression of legalised outlets for the appeasal/awakening/nourishment of lower spirits within man guiding libido (Red Light Districts) or primitive-Godlike portions of mind (Alcohol/Coca/Cannabis/Opium Outlets), venues for LBGT community/Nudism, that should be holistically viewed etc..
There are both strong and weak among Humanity, awareness of who are weak is the most important quality of police and enforcement, and the strong and healthy are unaffected by such EVILs to some degree though when directed en masse can still affect them. Among the weak however upon the most casual intent or even to most of us a ‘mere caning’ would succumb.
Those who are weak avoid such harms via renunciations, heavy and open espousals of religions, via Niqab and Burkha (which are banned by some countries), via shaven heads and robes, via additional ‘spirit housing/binding’ in form of Kirpans/Turban/Religious Amulet/Idol/Athame(which are banned at various levels in agnostic-devilish, countries) etc..
Now those who ARE aware and in positions to write laws had better discharge their duties to Mankind no matter how ostracised they could end up from speaking up on such issues. There is a spiritual dimension to man that is little collaborated or explored upon except by :
” religions and secret societies though often for self profit and personal power, where monks own luxury car collections, or members who are often well positioned to determine the course of society indulge in exotic tantric practices to gain power over his fellow parliamentarian or fellow citizens . . . ”
And these are not suitable individuals to guide the masses of which many leaders arise from, and fall to, by. Are you Metaphysically aware? If you are able to, and prepared to fight the enemies of man, for a ‘United Nations Human Spiritual Rights Charter’, now is as good a time as any to begin steps towards the emancipation of man from the /enslavement that began with the embrace of industralisation and modernisation.
Such levels of Human Psyche cannot be treated as non-existent for the masses while a selfish clique empowers itself via sequestering and forbidding of knowledge while practicing the same which rightfully belongs to all Mankind and neglect of the spiritual element in penning of any laws. Anything and everything goes, and enforcement/government is not here to oppress/forbid but to ensure no one gets hurt in the process of expression of FREEDOM.
Death after caning mystery By SARBAN SINGH By FARIK ZOLKEPLI – Thursday April 2, 2009
GEMAS: Mystery surrounds the death of a nine-year-old pupil of SJK (C) Kampung Baru Tiong near here who died several hours after being caned on the back of his hands by a teacher.
Chan Qi Xian had complained of a severe headache after he was caned around noon on Tuesday for not doing his homework.
State Education Department director Datuk Abdullah Mohammad confirmed the case but was quick to add that the caning could not have possibly caused the boy’s death.
“I was told that the teacher caned the boy for failing to do his homework. That is a normal thing to do.
“His death is a mystery and we hope the post-mortem will be able to shed light on the actual cause of death,” he added.
Abdullah said the school authorities rushed the pupil to the Segamat Hospital when he complained of dizziness. They also contacted his parents.
When the boy’s condition deteriorated, doctors rushed Chan to the Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor Baru.
However, it is learnt that the hospital authorities there told Qi Xian’s parents that his condition was critical and that he would not survive.
His parents then brought him home where he died at 3.30am yesterday.
Abdullah said that based on the headmaster’s report, Qi Xian did not suffer from any illnesses. “But we do not know if he had a medical condition,” he said.
Abdullah, who was away attending a meeting, said he would visit the school to talk to the teacher as well as other staff members about the incident.
Headmaster Lim Yan Ho refused to disclose details, adding that he had submitted a report to the state education department.
State police chief SAC I Datuk Osman Salleh said the boy could not have died due to the caning.
“It makes little sense to say that the death was due to the caning. We are doing our own investigations to see if the boy suffered from some medical condition,” he said.
He also advised parents to notify the school authorities if their children had medical problems. ”This will allow the school to have every pupil’s medical record.
“This way, we will be able to prevent untoward incidents, especially when disciplining them,” he said.
Qi Xian’s remains were brought to the Tuanku Ja’afar Hospital here yesterday morning for a post-mortem. It is learnt that the autopsy would only be carried out today.
In Johor Baru, state health department director Dr Mohd Khairi Yakub said they would investigate the allegation that the Sultanah Aminah Hospital had turned away Qi Xian.
[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]
Think NHS . . . also the parents have not been adequately compensated and need to bring the issue up to higher authority :
United Nations Department of Public Information
Information Centres Service
Strategic Communications Division
Department of Public Information
New York NY 10017
To cane or not to cane? — Azril Mohd Amin
MARCH 3 — It may surprise some who read these words that the title of this piece is also the name of a seminar and workshop at an upcoming (July, 2010) professional conference sponsored by the Department of Psychiatry at Kuala Lumpur’s General Hospital.
Reading some non-Muslim vituperation over the caning issue, you might not guess that the issue is receiving the highest professional attention and scrutiny. Indeed, this factor in Islamic law of sentencing is insulted and thoroughly misunderstood by non-Muslims even here in Malaysia, particularly in a recent column written by one of the editors of The Star newspaper.
Let us remind this editor and other Islamophobes that the issue of humiliation versus incarceration is of the utmost importance to resolve in the modern world. In the 1980’s, San Diego, California, was already releasing all prisoners held in its city jail, simply in order to make room for the waiting list of new prisoners.
US state governments were already sub-contracting prison services out to private prisons, in which inmates were treated with notably more humanity and intelligence, not only in food and healthcare, but also in rehabilitation programs.
The western so-called “liberal” system of punishing criminals by locking them up in tiny, dirty cells together with many other more hardened criminals has been breaking down for some time now. The recidivism rate (the rate at which ex-convicts return to their lives in crime, and then show up back in their jails once again) has reached almost 90 per cent in some cases, proof positive that incarceration does NOT deter crime.
The Prophet Muhammad (saw) received in the Al-Qur’an a system of crime deterrence based on personal and social humiliation of the criminals. One of the principal sentencing is caning. What we Muslims must do post-haste is collect statistics to verify whether or not our divinely-revealed system, administered correctly and without medical damage, actually does deter criminals from further aberrant behaviour. The effectiveness of medical punishments as social deterrents for more serious crimes must also be investigated.
What we must NOT do is postpone such punishment for weeks and months, while the convicted criminal waits and waits for his/her sentencing to be carried out, enabling them to return to normal daily life. Such delays constitute a de facto surrender to the non-Islamic system of incarceration, since such criminals are not free until their punishment has been carried out.
Even the sister sentenced to caning in Pahang for drinking alcohol in public fully accepted her punishment and only begged that it be carried out in a timely manner. And yet, weak-willed Muslims seem to have caved in to the hysterical protest of outsiders by delaying her punishment until today.
The issue of Malaysia’s Federal Constitution will need ultimately to be addressed. It must suffice at present to point out that the Syariah Courts cannot be expected to cave in to the secular legal system in Malaysia’s context.
America’s experience in outlawing alcohol during the 1930’s only succeeded in stimulating one of the most lawless and violent periods in recent American history. Saudi Arabia’s outlawing of homosexuality, along with Malaysia’s, is so obviously unenforceable as to breed almost total disrespect for the law. Even the death penalty does not seem to be stopping or even slowing down the drug merchants.
Balancing secular and Syariah Law in Malaysia is indeed a difficult and important undertaking, due to the racial make-up of the country. However, constitutions can be amended, and should be, when the laws they promulgate run contrary to the overwhelming wishes of the citizenry “on the ground”. If Muslims find that personal humiliation is a more effective crime deterrent than incarceration, they must be given that option under the Federal Constitution as well.
* Azril Mohd Amin is vice president, Muslim Lawyers Association of Malaysia. This is his personal opinion.
Let the individual Muslim decide if he wishes to be tried by Syariah or Civil court. And also take not of what is not punishable if it is a Personal Sin. If these items are not included in Malaysian governance, Singaporean Malays who make up a critical 15% vote there will have less incentive to help re-assimilate Singapore. The 13 point plan of course is also critical if we wish to effect plebiscite among Singaporean Indian and Chinese populations in Singapore to vote for re-assimilation.
On Malaysia’s side the below needs to be in place as well :
1) Freedom from Apartheid/Fascism
2) Freedom from Religious-Persecution/Religious-Supremacy.
3) Equality for all ethnicities and faiths in all aspects of policy, Law and Constitution.
Then Malaysia would be truly First World and also gain a 14th State by it’s human rights orieted efforts as described above.