Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng says state executive council has agreed to table a motion against Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Shabudin Yahaya. Pic by Picture by KE Ooi for the MMO.
GEORGE TOWN, April 20 ― The Penang state executive council has decided to table a motion against Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Shabudin Yahaya over his remarks on rape victims and child marriage.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng stressed that the motion is against the Umno MP and his remarks that nine-year-old girls are physically and spiritually ready for marriage and his proposed solution that rape victims marry their rapists.
“We want to take this as a point of principle to defend and uphold women’s rights and dignity, this is what we will do,” he told a press conference at the Penang Digital Library this morning.
Lim pointed out that in all his statements and criticisms against what Shabudin said in Parliament on April 5 was directed at the MP individually, and not at Islam or Islamic family law.
“Let me make it clear. My remarks are all against Shabudin, don’t let him twist it to an Islamic family law issue, this is a very dishonest, desperate and disreputable attempt to save himself,” he said. Read more →
Children are actually allowed to marry under existing Malaysian laws. The legal age to marry also depends on whether you are Muslim or non-Muslim. — Reuters pic.
KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 — For better or worse, Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Shabudin Yahaya’s recent remarks in Parliament has cast a spotlight on child marriages in Malaysia.
With the country aiming for first world nationhood, should marriages of minors be allowed to continue? There have been arguments for and against this practice, with child development advocates heavily in favour of ending it.
To help you understand this issue better, Malay Mail Online has compiled a list of the facts and figures that you should know:
1. What does the law say?
Malaysians are only considered an adult by law when they turn 18, but the legal age applicable on matters like when they can have sex and get married is a different thing altogether.
The age of consent for sexual intercourse in Malaysia is 16, which makes sex with any woman below age 16 a crime, regardless whether they consented to it or not, and punishable by law. However, marital rape is not a crime in Malaysia. Read more →
The goal is to protect girls who are not mature enough to make complicated decisions with far-reaching consequences.
Dr. Azmi Sharom is a law teacher in Universiti Malaya.
DATUK Shabudin Yahaya has really caused a furore with his statements in Parliament about statutory rape.
Having read transcripts of his speech in Parliament, I came to see that some of the comments made about him are unfair. He does not condone rape, for example. But be that as it may, I have some issues about what was said.
Firstly, there seems to be confusion about the meaning of statutory rape. Statutory rape means that any sex with a girl under the age of 16 is rape.
Her consent is beside the point. I found it disturbing that in his speech there appeared to be a distinction made between rape (rogol) and consensual, albeit illicit, sex (zina).
This is missing the point totally about the law regarding statutory rape, because the whole concept of the law is that children do not have the ability to give their consent, by virtue of the fact that they are too young.
So, sex with an underage girl is rape; no matter what the circumstances. Read more →
GEORGE TOWN, April 10 — Penang Umno can file any motion at next month’s state legislative assembly, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.
The Penang lawmaker said Penang practises a democracy, so the state Opposition can file any motions even if it is against him.
“Even though our motion to ask for the prime minister’s resignation was rejected in Parliament, we will allow them to move their motion in Penang because we practise a democracy,” he said in a press conference at his office today.
He was responding to a statement by Penang Umno Liaison chairman Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman who said state Opposition Leader Datuk Jahara Hamid will be filing a motion calling for Lim’s resignation due to his ongoing corruption case in court.
“So far we have no objection to them filing the motion, but it is up to the Speaker to decide,” he said. Read more →
Penang Umno state liaison chairman Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman said Lim Guan Eng’s (pic) refusal to relinquish his post or to take leave due to the corruption charges against him has tarnished the authority of the Penang Chief Minister’s office. — Picture by K.E.Ooi for the MMO.
GEORGE TOWN, April 10 — Penang Umno said today it will table a motion demanding for Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s resignation, after he announced plans to file a motion condemning an Umno MP’s comments on rape victims.
Penang Umno state liaison chairman Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman said Penang Umno has decided to ask its Opposition Leader, Datuk Jahara Hamid, to table the motion at the state legislative assembly that will start on May 19.
“We want to reiterate our call to Lim to take leave or to resign from his chief minister post until his corruption case in court is over,” he said in a statement issued today.
He said Lim’s refusal to relinquish his post or to take leave due to the corruption charges against him has tarnished the authority of the Penang Chief Minister’s office.
“Witnesses especially government officials will be at a loss and feel pressured if they are called to give their testimony in court against a chief minister who is still in office,” he claimed.
He added that the long trial of the case will also disrupt the daily schedule of the chief minister and could adversely affect the state administration. Read more →
APRIL 10 — The Malaysian Bar welcomes the passing of the Sexual Offences against Children Act 2017 (“Act”) by the Dewan Rakyat in the recently concluded Parliament session. This new law marks progress for child protection in Malaysia by bringing our laws closer in line with international standards, and towards fulfilling our obligations as a State Party to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (“CRC”). We take this opportunity to recognise the efforts of the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of legal affairs, YB Dato’ Seri Azalina Othman Said, in bringing the Act to pass.
The Malaysian Bar, however, opposes the inclusion of the mandatory whipping provisions in the Act, which may include whipping a male who is more than 50 years of age. Whipping is a harsh and barbaric form of punishment, with long-term harmful psychological effects, and has failed as a retributory and deterrent punishment. International human rights norms condemn whipping and other forms of corporal punishment as cruel, inhumane or degrading, and call for their abolition. There is no justification for Malaysia to condone and administer such a merciless punishment. Read more →
Marianne Clark-Hattingh is the UNICEF representative in Malaysia
APRIL 6 — UNICEF is outraged by statements uttered during the debate on the Sexual Offences Against Children Bill 2017 claiming that it is okay for children to marry their rapists and that girls as young as 9 or 12 years old are ready for marriage.
It is not acceptable for a child to get married. Under no circumstances should child marriage be used as an excuse for rape or as a defence by alleged child sexual perpetrators to avoid facing prosecution. UNICEF does not condone in any way and is against using child marriage to cover up or ‘normalise’ rape, sexual abuse or teenage sex or worse to avoid the prosecution of perpetrators.
Scientific and medical evidence indicate that a girl who is not yet 18 is not physically and mentally ready to have children, to care for them and look after a family. Complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death among girls aged 15 to 19 worldwide, accounting for some 50,000 deaths each year. Girls between 10 -14 years of age are 5 times more likely than women aged 20 – 24 to die in pregnancy and childbirth.
Marriage before the age of 18 is a fundamental violation of human rights that impacts all aspects of a child’s life, especially girls. In Malaysia and elsewhere in the world, child marriage denies girl and boys their childhood, disrupts education, limits opportunities, increases the risk of violence and jeopardises health. Read more →
KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 ― Datuk Shabudin Yahya today clarified that he was referring to consensual sex involving minors with his controversial suggestion for rapists to marry their victims.
The Tasik Gelugor MP denied he was referring to violent rape while debating the Child Sexual Offences Bill 2017 yesterday, following uproar over his suggestion.
He insisted that such crimes should be dealt with according to existing laws such as the Penal Code, and rejected reports that he was condoning such rapes.
“But in society’s reality, there are many cases of rape that are classified by law as ‘statutory rape’ but based on common consent.
“To resolve such problems, families often cover up the shame, do not make police reports and eventually make the decision to marry them,” he said in a statement on the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers site. Read more →
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said says statutory rape laws clearly prohibit sexual relations with minors. ― Picture by Choo Choy May for the MMO.
KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — Marriage will not allow rapists to escape punishment for their crime, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said today.
Responding to the controversy surrounding an Umno lawmaker’s suggestion that rapists be permitted to marry their child victims, the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department also said statutory rape laws clearly prohibit sexual relations with minors.
Commenting on public questions about whether such marriages could allow the rapists to avoid prosecution, she said this was not true.
“Offenders will not escape punishment if they have sexual relations with those below the age of 16 and may be charged under Section 376 (2) of the Penal Code,” she wrote on Facebook today. Read more →
Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan expressed shock over his Umno colleague’s suggestion that the future of rape victims would be ‘not bleak’ if they were to be married to their attackers. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng for the MMO.
KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 — Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan hit out at his Umno colleague Datuk Shabudin Yahya for suggesting that rape victims be married to their attackers, saying that he was “shocked” and “disappointed” with the remarks made by the Tasek Gelugor MP.
Shabudin had earlier today said that the future of rape victims would not be bleak if they are married to their rapists, and that marriage between a victim and her rapist can in fact help solve social problems.
“I just came across an article about the comments of Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Shabudin Yahya in Parliament in respect of underage marriages and marriages between victims and rapists with utter shock and disappointment,” Abdul Rahman said in a statement tonight.
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department pointed out that every child has the right to live and to dream, and that 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. Read more →