PETALING JAYA: Castration as a form of punishment for rapists is one of the proposals up for discussion at a high level meeting involving the Sarawak state government today.
According to the Malay Mail Online, the proposal was made as part of efforts to combat the rising sexual crimes in the state, especially cases involving incest.
The report quoted Sarawak Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women and Family Development Minister Fatimah Abdullah as saying that the proposal would require amendments to the Penal Code which currently does not provide castration as a form of penalty against such offenders.
The meeting will also be attended by the police, who are expected to provide updated statistics on sexual crimes in the state, particularly against children.
Fatimah lamented the rise in incest cases reported this year, saying this could be due to unwillingness on the part of the victims or other family members to lodge reports with the police.
“Due to the close relationship, lodging a police report will take a lot of courage on the victim’s part,” she was quoted as saying by the Borneo Post.
Sometimes, victims could feel guilty for putting their family members in jail, or mothers could fear losing the family’s breadwinner should a report be lodged, she added.
In July, five individuals were charged with raping a 12-year-old girl. They were the girl’s 72-year-old grandfather, father, and three cousins.
The girl’s 40-year-old father was charged with four counts of rape while her grandfather faced six counts for the offence.
The three cousins, aged 16, 17 and 21, were charged with raping the victim on five, three and four occasions respectively.
In August, meanwhile, two teenage sisters, aged 19 and 14, said they had been raped by their father, grandfather and two uncles over the last six years.
The case came to light when the elder sister became pregnant and the Serian Hospital informed the police of the teenage pregnancy.
Just last week, two men in Sibu were remanded for eight days to facilitate investigations following reports that they had allegedly raped a seven-year-old girl who was a close family member repeatedly since August last year.
Another man from Sarikei was remanded for five days to facilitate investigations into alleged incest involving his 15-year-old daughter.