Two women who pleaded guilty to attempting same-sex relations were given six strokes of the cane in the Kuala Terengganu Syariah High Court today.
The sentence was carried out within the courtroom, in full view of the public gallery by a masked female caning officer from the Kajang Prison.
The duo was struck on their backs with a one-metre-long cane that was slightly pointed at the tip. Another officer would count each stroke before it was handed.
One of the two women cried during the process.
According to The Star Online, the punishment was witnessed by state syariah chief judge Wan Mohd Zakri Wan Mohd and state senior syariah judge Rosdi Harun.
It is believed that this is the first time that Malaysian women have been punished for such an offence.
The duo, aged 22 and 32, was caught by Islamic law enforcers in April while in a car. They later pleaded guilty and were handed the punishment, along with an RM3,300 fine each.
The caning sentence was supposed to be carried out on Aug 28 but was postponed for unknown reasons.
Rights groups have heavily criticised the punishment on grounds that caning is considered torture and that marginalised communities should not be subject to persecution.
Some also argue that the enforcement of laws against homosexual behaviour might lead to hate crimes and put the lives of the LGBT community in danger.