PETALING JAYA: Malaysians have called for chemical castration and the death sentence or life imprisonment for child rapists, according to The Star's poll on child rapists.
They feel that current laws are inadequate and are in favour of a separate register to monitor the activities of offenders after their release from prison.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim had said on Tuesday that he would table a proposal for such a register for sex offenders at the next Cabinet meeting.
The poll, which asked six questions, drew 167 facsimile and 1,210 online replies by 7pm yesterday, including from overseas.
The short messaging service poll received 1,142 replies to the two questions.
Of them, 1,008 (88%) said that existing laws and enforcement were inadequate to protect children and 1,081 (95%) voted for a separate register for child rapists.
Only a handful of respondents felt that child rapists could be rehabilitated.
Even those who did so recommended life imprisonment.
The majority, however, said the Government should not waste taxpayers' money by giving “food and board” to child rapists in prison.
All respondents felt that parents, schools and the Government were collectively responsible for children and that children should be taught personal safety in primary schools or even as early as pre-school.
R. Nishalani, 17, wrote: “I'm very sad about these problems.
“As a Malaysian, I'm very shy to read about the rape cases that involved children. I still remember Audrey Melissa. We lost her but we have yet to catch the rapist.”
Dr Zahrul Faizi, 32, a lecturer, e-mailed to say: “We have to assume that child rapists exist anywhere in the world.
“We must therefore ensure that there will be no opportunity for them to carry out their heinous crime.
“Checks and measures have to be in place in a concerted effort by all parties – the Government, private bodies, institutions, schools and families. Punishment should act as a deterrent.”
Among four doctors who responded, Dr Ranjit Singh, 36, and Dr Abdul Hamid Jakaria, 65, favoured chemical castration as a punishment.
“They have permanently scarred a child and they should be man enough to accept theirs,” said Dr Khoo Cheang Aik, 54, who recommended surgical castration.
He said there were serial addicts who did not show remorse and that it would be impossible to monitor them.
Dr Maria Bernadette, a 45-year-old mother, advocated the death sentence, saying she could never forgive a child rapist.
A 28-year-old consultant, who signed his e-mail as Asraf said:
“The Government should give more severe punishment to these offenders and keep close tabs on all previous convicts to ensure they don't commit this heinous crime again.
“Boys must be taught at an early age to respect the opposite sex and proper moral education must be taught and stressed throughout their learning years.”
Muhammad Raizal, 30, banker, father of two pre-school daughters: “These maniacs should be publicly executed. That should deter others. Executions in prison are too kind.”
S. Ravindran, 42, manager: “Parents and the community should take the initiative to protect children. Do not leave them alone in public. As parents, we should protect them and not take their life for granted.”
Melissa Fatimah Abdullah, 33, manager: “By giving a child rapist a jail term, be it short or long, he is being protected from the community. It should be the community who is protected from the rapist.”
Martina Xavier, 43, human resources and administration manager: “Permanently mark the victim's name on the convict's hands.”
Janice Ong, 40, administration manager: “Rapists cannot be rehabilitated. Look at the statistics of repeat offenders. Education and social integration should be the key.”
Chau Sooi Moi, 50, technical director: “Before they are released, they should have a medical or psychiatric evaluation to ensure they will not harm people again.”
Rosli Ismail, 45, district health officer: “The harshest penalty must be given to all rapists if they are found guilty. The trial and sentence must be executed fast to prevent the rapist from committing the same crime.”