KUALA LUMPUR: Sentencing child rapists to death alone will not solve the problem, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.
He said having the death penalty for the crime would not deter future child rapists.
“If death sentence for drug traffickers has not been effective, then what is the rationale for the same sentence for child rapists?
“Raping a child is a vile act and something should be done about it. But maybe sentencing alone is not going to solve the matter,” he told reporters after closing the Fourth Annual Malaysian Student Leaders Summit here yesterday.
Hishammuddin was commenting on a case in which a 10-year-old pupil was allegedly raped by a man ferrying children to school in Kuala Lumpur.
Police believe that a few more children could have been victimised by the 51-year-old man, who is married with three children.
The case has since sparked an uproar among Malaysians, with many calling for “castration” and even the “death penalty” for child rapists.
Currently, the punishment for the rape of a child below 12 years under Section 376(2)(e) of the Penal Code is imprisonment of up to 30 years together with whipping.
On another matter, Hishammuddin said it was also unsuitable for Cabinet members to publicly declare their assets, as suggested by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief Datuk Abu Kassim Mohamed.
Hishammuddin said it was sufficient for Cabinet ministers to inform the Prime Minister of their financial worth.
“I declared my assets to the Prime Minister. I have nothing to hide but I feel that it will be sufficient.
“However, any call of that nature (the public declaration of assets) which involves government policy has to be discussed at the Cabinet,” he said.
Hishammuddin also stressed that ministers’ assets must remain confidential to avoid these from being “politicised” by certain quarters.
“Therefore, the information given to the Prime Minister must be protected. For me, personally, it (the proposal) is not suitable,” he said.
Currently, Cabinet members disclose their assets to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak annually and such declarations are kept private.