PETALING JAYA: Putrajaya has for the second time stated that it is unhappy with caning of women by religious courts in Terengganu.
The latest case involves a 30-year-old single mother who was ordered to receive six strokes of the cane for alleged prostitution last month.
Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said she was saddened by the decision delivered by the Terengganu Shariah High Court.
“It is important to demonstrate that Islam is not a cruel religion and does not love to mete out heavy punishments to humiliate others,” she said in a statement.
The woman had pleaded guilty to prostitution and was jailed six months for the offence.
This is the second public caning of women in Malaysia. The first was on two women convicted of attempting lesbian sex in Terengganu in September.
Wan Azizah said the Welfare Department had briefed her on the latest case.
She said the woman is a mother of two children, one from her previous marriage and another with her partner.
The first child had been with her sister since the child was born in 2011 and the second one was given up for adoption when the woman gave birth last year.
Wan Azizah said the mother had applied for welfare aid in 2016 but her application was declined as she had already given up her child for adoption.
“My officers from the Welfare Department are already speaking to the woman’s family to ensure her first child is taken care of.
“The whereabouts of her husband and details of her divorce are also being looked into,” she added.