Rohani Abdul Karim shocks the nation with her callous remarks towards the statement over child marriages made by Tasek Gelugor MP Shabudin Yahaya. This is definitely not the attitude anyone would expect from a Minister for Women, Family and Community Development.
Citing Shabudin’s experience as an ex-Syariah judge only means that Rohani respects Shabudin’s views on child marriages. Paedophilia is something that should be *banned by all means* and that is the reason why child marriages should never be allowed. Children are not physically nor spiritually ready for marriage, even if according to Shabudin, those between 9 and 12 years old may have bodies like an 18-years-old. These words are absolutely shallow beyond description and if this is the quality of judges and MPs we have, then we have to ask ourselves why we keep voting for such leaders to represent us.
Rohani says that she will not interfere but if she does not want speak out for the children and women, then she should either change portfolios or resign immediately. The Minister for Women, Family and Community Development should have a clear stance to reject Shabudin’s statement. Rape and child marriages are two different and wrong things. No child would want to marry her rapist and if her guardians give permission for the rapist to marry the victim, then the guardians should also be punished for neglect, abandonment and failure to protect the child.
The Sexual Offences Against Children Act aims to protect child victims. Rohani should be championing children and women’s rights rather than being party to a disgusting MP who has preference towards child marriages. We should be discussing heavier penalties towards rape crimes and not how to procure a husband for a child in the event of a rape.
Being raped is not the end of the world, but marrying off a child will deny the child of an education and a better future. Marriage does not guarantee anything especially when there are so many cases of husbands not supporting the family. If Shabudin and Rohani are more concerned about family honour or reputation of the girl, then it is high time they change their views. A girl should not be judged by her virginity or her sexual status.
YB Hajah Zuraida Kamaruddin dated 9 April 2017
MP FOR AMPANG