Here are some excerpts about what they said:
"We are shocked and very very angry with this action that the government has taken in going ahead and caning three woman for adultery. Who gives the government the right to do moral policing and why should a personal sin be turned into a crime against the state... Malaysia's reputation and Malaysia's claim to be a modern Muslim country, a democracy, definitely this is a big blow to Malaysia's positioning. And for me, I am currently attending the Human Rights Summit in Washington, certainly it's a very embarrassing moment.'' - Dr Hamidah Marican, executive director, Sisters of Islam.
(Both made the statement during an interview with Radio Australia h e r e).
"Malaysia is a lawless state..." - Zaid Ibrahim, ex-Law Minister in his Facebook.
"The authority may claim this as the law of Malaysia, just like anal sex is illegal in the country. But it should be able to integrate with the international law. It must be reasonable and consistent with human rights." - a comment in Sin Chew ... (h e r e)
"These thousands of cases point to an epidemic of caning in Malaysia... the Malaysian government needs to abolish this cruel and degrading punishment, no matter what the offense." - Donna Guest, Amnesty... (h e r e)
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the caning was done according to the law, and that it did not result in any wound on their bodies. The only issue raised then was why did the government take more than a week to announce it, and why was it announced?
Some said the announcement was made to make it clear that there is no rooms for beer-drinking model Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno to evade similar punishment, as what was decided by a court last year.
However, the three women said they deserved their punishment and that it would help stem sex outside marriage. "I deeply regret my actions as I should have married before having sex," the New Straits Times newspaper quoted one of the women who it said was aged 17, as saying in its Friday edition. She claimed that she had become pregnant and gone into labor while at school, losing the baby, and then had turned herself in to the authorities last December.
A second woman said she had to support her family after her father left home and had a three-year-old daughter out of wedlock. She said that she too turned herself in due to feelings of guilt.Hishammuddin said they were carried out perfectly. The caning was done while the women were fully clothed and seated. The person administering the punishment was not allowed to raise their arm above shoulder level.
Nevertheless, the caning has received widespread support from Muslim groups in the country, where about 55 per cent of its 27 million people is Malay and Muslim. "The guilty have also repented and there is no proof of injuries at all. What is the problem now?" - Fadhalina Sidek, vice president of the Islamic Youth Movement.
President ofThe Malaysian Muslim Lawyers Association (PPMM) Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar said that the statements by several parties questioning the syariah caning on three women syariah offenders recently demonstrates as though they did not understand the dual legal system practiced in the country.
"It must be stressed again that the syariah caning is different from the civil caning. The syariah caning does not cause injury to the offender compared with the civil caning which leaves a scar," he said, adding that describing the syariah caning as cruel was extreme and lacked legal basis and Syarak Law.
Well... to those who don't know about the Islamic punishment, they better dont open up their mouth. I have read somewhere that such a punishment is acceptable in Islam since a thousand years before, and I think Muslims had accepted it.
The only issue here is those who try to lucre out the issue. Like Sisters of Islam, I bet Islam is secondary to them. What's more important is to align themselves with the Western-style of law (among others in accepting illicit sex, adultery and anal sex as legal).
As for the Bar Council, its their nature of getting attention.... it goes without saying. And for those who urge Malaysia to set up an Islamic rules that comply to international standard, I got this to tell them - comply yourself to the rules of common sense first (although common sense is not so common anymore)
Muslims usually dont interfere with other religions (lakum di nukum wali-yaddin), especially here in Malaysia. What our scholars and ulamaks do are for the well-being of the Muslims. Islam is not extreme.