SIMPLETON OR CAVEMAN THINKING? UMNO MP, WHO SPARKED RAPE FIRESTORM, OFFERS CHILDLIKE ‘LOGIC’ ON ABUSED MINORS : ‘I WAS REFERRING TO CONSENSUAL SEX NOT VIOLENT RAPE’

KUALA LUMPUR― Datuk Shabudin Yahya today clarified that he was referring to consensual sex involving minors with his controversial suggestion for rapists to marry their victims.

The Tasik Gelugor MP denied he was referring to violent rape while debating the Child Sexual Offences Bill 2017 yesterday, following uproar over his suggestion.

He insisted that such crimes should be dealt with according to existing laws such as the Penal Code, and rejected reports that he was condoning such rapes.

“But in society’s reality, there are many cases of rape that are classified by law as ‘statutory rape’ but based on common consent.

“To resolve such problems, families often cover up the shame, do not make police reports and eventually make the decision to marry them,” he said in a statement on the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers site.

He insisted that such arrangements were not “backdoors” to escape punishment for rape, but should be viewed as a positive development for the minors involved in what would be statutory rape in the eyes of the law.

 

He then stressed that he was simply pointing out that there were no Islamic enactments that expressly prohibit child marriages when he rejected Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching’s bid to have these banned as part of the Bill.

Shabudin then criticised the media for focusing on such remarks as him saying girls as young as nine were “physically” and “spiritually” ready for marriage.

Today, he insisted he was referring to the varying ages that girls achieve puberty, and did not mean that all nine-year-olds were marriageable.

The Umno MP came under criticism from allies, rivals and civil society alike for his remarks made yesterday.

Among others, he claimed rape victims could avoid a “bleak” future if their rapists were allowed to marry them, when debating the Bill.

Shabudin also said it was unfair to “assume” that a sexual offender will continue being a “bad person”.

Today, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said insisted that there was no question of rapists using marriage to escape prosecution.

She also stressed that the law was clear that sex with those under the age of 16 is statutory rape.

The Child Sexual Offences Bill 2017 was passed yesterday.

MALAY MAIL