MP: Future likely bleak if victims don’t marry their rapists

Shabudin-Yahaya-1

KUALA LUMPUR: An Umno MP today said there was nothing wrong with a girl getting married to her rapist.

Shabudin Yahaya (BN-Tasek Gelugor) said it would be good for the girl to get married to her rapist as she would otherwise face a bleak future.

“The girl might feel safer rather than being just left like that,” said the former shariah judge at the Dewan Rakyat today.

He said some 16-year-old girls had “wild lifestyles” and their families found it hard to control them.

“But with the agreement of their wali (guardian), the girl, after marriage, will be looked after well by her husband and the wali.

“They can live in peace,” he said, adding that it could be the perfect remedy to social problems.

Shabudin said it also did not mean that the rapist was a bad person.

“Perhaps he has repented. Sometimes it is better to have repented and regretted, rather than not regretting at all.”

At this point, Nik Mazlan Nik Mohamad (PAS-Pasir Puteh) asked Shabudin if he was referring to rape or fornication as rape was a crime.

Shabudin replied, saying both the acts of rape and fornication were considered crimes.

“But what is important is that they (the men) must go through a process of repentance.

“They have an opportunity to do this through marriage.”

Shabudin disagreed with Teo Nie Ching (DAP-Kulai) who had earlier said marriages below 18 years old could lead to divorce.

He stood firm on his opinion that only a small number of those who married when under 18 years of age faced divorce.

Shabudin said some girls matured fast and looked older than their age.

“They reach puberty at the age of 9, or 12. And at that time, the physical state of their body is already akin to those who are 18 years old.

“So physically and spiritually, it is not a barrier for the girl to marry.”

He also said one could not foresee if a husband would turn out to be useless.

“I have handled a case where the husband was a teacher but he sodomised his wife.

Siti Mariah Mahmud (Amanah-Kota Raja) however said the age limit for all marriages should be fixed at 18 and above.

“In those days, people got married at 12 or 13. That was the norm then.

“Now, we fix the minimum age for marriage at 18. Those who want to get married younger must go through a court procedure.”

She also said girls who married below the age of 18 were likely to end up with “useless husbands”.