PETALING JAYA: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan has taken a strong stand against the remarks made by his fellow Umno MP on the issue of rapists marrying their victims.
Writing on his Facebook page, Rahman condemned Tasik Gelugor MP Shahbudin Yahaya’s comments in Parliament during the debate on the Sexual Offences Against Children Bill 2017, calling it an “abhorrent” suggestion.
“I just came across an article about the comments of Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Shabudin Yahaya in Parliament in respect of underage marriages and marriages between victims and rapists with utter shock and disappointment.
“Every child has the right to live, to dream, and to have fun. While it is the parents’ responsibility to provide a decent childhood for their children, the government and lawmakers have the responsibility to protect the best interest of Malaysian children,” Rahman said.
Yesterday, Shahbudin, who is a former shariah court judge, told the Dewan Rakyat that there was nothing wrong with a girl getting married to her rapist, adding that it would be good for the girl as she would otherwise face a bleak future.
“The girl might feel safer rather than being just left like that. They can live in peace.
“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,” Shahbudin said, adding that it could be the perfect remedy to social problems.
Rahman, who is the Kota Belud MP, stressed that laws are enacted to protect children, especially underage girls.
“The law is unequivocal on this matter, according to Malaysian Penal Code Section 375 (g), it is considered statutory rape for a man to have sex with a girl under 16 years of age – with or without her consent.
“Therefore, it is abhorent in this 21st century to suggest that a rapist, who should in the first place be prosecuted, has the means to escape legal responsibility simply by marrying his victim.”