KUALA LUMPUR: There are more Malay victims of statutory rape than other races as they are more "sensitive" towards the issue, thus likelier to report it, Parliament was told on Tuesday.
"This does not mean there were more Malays who are involved in underage rape cases, but Malay Muslims are more sensitive when it comes to these issues," said deputy Home Minister Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
He was responding to a question from Setiu MP Che Mohamad Zulkifly Jusoh on what the Government was doing to address the high number of statutory rape cases in the country.
"Maybe the non-Malays are not as sensitive about it, which is why not many people come forward to make reports," said Wan Junaidi.
He also commented that that 80.5% out of 1,424 cases reported last year involved Malays.
"Statistics showed that the reports by Malays were higher than those from the other communities, as the Malay Muslim community could not accept children born out of wedlock, which is against Islam," he said.
He said that the number of cases had dropped in 2013 compared to the previous year, but the ratio of Malay victims remained higher than other races.
He added that despite the fewer reports of statutory rape in 2013, the Government was concerned about the issue as 90% of the cases reported involved girls between the age of 13 and 16.
In 2012, a total of 1,550 statutory rape cases were reported, out of which 1,243 cases involved Malays, 73 Chinese, 45 Indians and 189 from other races.
In 2013, the ration was consistent with 1,147 cases out of 1,424 cases involved Malays, 62 Chinese, 32 Indians and 183 others.
When Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff (PAS-Rantau Panjang) questioned the effectiveness of Government enforcement on statutory rape cases as there were only 162 convictions out of 3,600 reports made in 2009, Wan Junaidi said that it was not fair for all the blame to be placed on the Government.
"Malaysians should work closely with enforcement officers instead of just placing the blame on them all the time," he said.
He added that parents should also take responsibility when it comes to issues involving their children instead of placing them on teachers, law enforcers and others.
"Parents are too busy chasing after money and material things and leave the responsibility of their children to others," he said.