KUALA LUMPUR: MPs from opposition parties have added their voice to the condemnation against an Umno MP for his remark that it is good for rapists to marry their underage victims.
No normal parent will marry off their daughter to her rapist, PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan said.
The Kota Bharu MP said parents would not be able to accept the fact that the individual who wrecked their daughter’s life would become part of the family.
He added, however, that there was nothing one could do if the parents agreed to such a plan.
“But if it were my daughter, I would not allow it,” he told reporters outside the Dewan Rakyat.
Takiyuddin also said a rapist marrying his underage victim did not absolve him of the crime, which was a serious one from a religious and social perspective.
He added that Tasik Gelugor MP Shabudin Yahya’s statement should not be entertained.
“We need to take a serious stance when it comes to rape.”
Last night, Shabudin told the Dewan Rakyat that there was nothing wrong with a minor getting married to her rapist, adding that it would be good for the girl as she would otherwise face a bleak future.
The former shariah court judge also said that some girls matured fast and looked older than their age.
“They reach puberty at the age of nine, 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,” Shabudin had said.
Meanwhile, PKR’s Zuraida Kamaruddin said Shabudin was “delusional” for thinking that girls between nine and 12 years old were ready for marriage.
Citing recorded testimonies from child brides who said they had been forced into marriage by their guardians, she said such a situation was simply wrong.
“Imagine the trauma of the child victim who has to face her tormentor every day after marriage. Given that she is only a child and deprived of an education, the child will have no access to seek for help or to be independent.
“Should the rapist decide to divorce her after a short period of time, what will happen then?” Zuraida said in a statement released today.
She added that allowing a rapist to marry his victim will not solve any social problems because, by any standard, pre-pubescent girls were still children.
“Does Shabudin think it is okay to have sex with an underaged girl as long as there is a marriage certificate. And what does that make a marriage certificate? A licence to have sex with minors?”
Zuraida also took Shabudin to task for saying that both the victim and the rapist should be given a second chance. Instead, she said, the “paedophile rapist” should be put in jail to ensure that he would not harm any other children.
“Marrying the rape victim should not nullify the crime itself,” she said.
The Ampang MP added that Shabudin must think that all women are weak and can only survive with husbands around.
“Tell me, how many husbands do not pay nafkah, and do not take care of their families yet have the time and resources to take a second wife?
“Shabudin belongs in the Dark Ages and not in Parliament.”
She called for the Child Sexual Offences Bill to be passed with no further objections and for an end to child marriages in Malaysia.