Rape is rape, marriage is not the solution, says Liow

KUALA LUMPUR: Top MCA leaders have hit out at Tasik Gelugor MP Shabudin Yahaya’s suggestion that it is okay for rapists to marry their child victims.

“Rape is rape. It’s a crime, the perpetrator must be punished. Marriage is not the solution,” said MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai(pic).

On Tuesday, Shabudin 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.

Describing this as nonsensical, Liow said that Shabudin must clarify his statement.

Liow was speaking after launching the logo for the Blossom Arts Festival Malaysia 2017, at Wisma MCA yesterday.

MCA Wanita chief Datuk Heng Seai Kie warned that Shabudin’s suggestion could open the floodgates for paedophiles to rape minors.

“What assurance can Shabudin give to the child bride that the paedophile husband will not rape other minors and then marry them, to satisfy his lust?” she asked.

The adviser to the Prime Minister’s Department said Shabudin’s chauvinistic comment demonstrates the uphill battle that NGOs face in changing some people’s mindset on women.

“Will a nine-year-old’s body be able to withstand physical penetration by a grown man?” said Heng, adding that child brides in the Middle East and Africa have died on their wedding night from internal injuries perpetrated by their grooms.

She said Shabudin’s remarks were not representative of Barisan Nasional.

Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun said Shabudin’s remarks were dangerous and bewildering.

“His male chauvinist mentality is outdated,” she said.

She said the reason consensual sex with those below age 16 was unlawful and defined as statutory rape was to protect underage victims.

MCA Central Committee Member Datuk Koh Chin Han said the comments were foolish and unreasonable.

“Shabudin’s comments only show that he has zero empathy,” Koh said.

He added that he wanted to ask Shabudin if he would accept the man who raped someone in his family as its newest member.