PETALING JAYA: The statement by Tasik Gelugor MP Datuk Shabudin Yahaya’s regarding marriages between child victims and rapists is unacceptable in the 21st century, said Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said he was utterly disappointed with Shabudin's statement in the Dewan Rakyat.
"Every child has the right to live, to dream, and to have fun. If the parents cannot provide a decent childhood for their children, it is the Government’s responsibility to protect the best interests of Malaysian children," Abdul Rahman said in a statement on Tuesday night.
Shabudin had on Tuesday said that there was nothing wrong with a rape victim marrying the rapist, and even suggested that some nine-year-olds were "physically and spiritually" ready for marriage.
He said this when debating the Sexual Offences Against Children Bill 2017 after several Opposition lawmakers suggested amending it to include child marriages as an offence.
Shabudin has since come under heavy criticism online for his statement.
Commenting further on Shabudin's statement, Abdul Rahman said that Section 375(g) of the Penal Code states that any man who has sex with a girl under 16 years of age commits statutory rape, regardless of whether he has received her consent
"It is with that notion in mind that I believe laws are enacted to protect our children, especially underage girls," said Abdul Rahman.
“Therefore, it is not acceptable in this 21st century that we suggest that a rapist who should be prosecuted can escape legal responsibility simply by marrying his victim,” he added.