KUALA LUMPUR: The idea that social ills can be solved by allowing rapists to marry their victims, even those who are underaged is severely misguided, said Kota Baru MP Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan (pic).
The PAS MP said that he was completely against the idea.
“Underaged marriage is allowed in Islam, no doubt about that. But rape is a criminal offence and is religiously wrong.
“We cannot stop parents from marrying off their daughters to the abusers, but personally I would never allow that to happen.
“Why would you want to give away your daughter to someone who had ruined your child’s life? It’s unacceptable,” he said in reference to Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Shabudin Yahaya’s statement in Parliament on Tuesday.
Shabudin had suggested that there was no issue with a rapist marrying the victim, but Kulai DAP MP Teo Nie Ching disagreed.
She said the law has become stringent now with the passing of the Sexual Offences against Children Bill 2017, in which Section 15 states that any physical contact with children is a criminal offence, even without sexual intercourse.
In light of this, Teo expressed the fear that more child marriages would take place.
She said the families of abusers may pressure the victims to settle the case out of court through marriage.
“And if the husband gets charged under the Penal Code, who is going to take care of the wife? She will be separated from the husband.
“This Act will not help,” she said.
During a debate on Tuesday, Shabudin had also said that children as young as nine years old can be married when they reached puberty, as long as their parents or their guardians seek permission from the Syariah court.
Although the law allows child marriage, the view that children are ready to be married because they have the body of an adult should be corrected, other MPs said.
“I don’t blame him totally because the law allows it (child marriage) but I am not saying he’s right,” Amanah Kota Raja MP Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud told reporters at the Parliament media centre here on Wednesday.
The existing laws allow Muslim girls who are 16 to marry while the marriageable age for boys is 18.
Dr Mariah, who is also Amanah Wanita chief, said she had suggested to Shabudin to raise the marriageable age to 18 for girls, as times are changing.
“In former times, young girls were raised to get married and be mothers. But now the girls are raised to be independent.
“But if the girl is married off at a young age, she has to depend on one person, which is the husband.
“And then she has to be submissive. We would like to educate girls to be self determined and to know their role,” she said.