On Tasik Gelugor MP's Statement Regarding Child Rapists
Wednesday, April 05, 2017

We are deeply appalled by the views of the Tasik Gelugor MP who seemed to suggest that a marriage between a rapist and his child victim would be a remedy for social problems. His views go against the process of natural justice and set the country further down the path of narrow mindedness. It also goes against the ideals of moderation which CENBET advocates.

Young girls who fall prey to rapists are already victims many times over. Besides the physical and emotional scars, some become pregnant at a very young age, affecting their health and deprives them of a normal childhood and educational prospects.
Rightfully, the perpetrators should be punished for the heinous crime. Letting the rapist go scot-free by allowing him to marry the victim merely legalises the unspeakable crime and perpetuates the victims' sufferings. 

The MP's logic that the rapist ought to be given a second chance at turning over a new leaf by marrying off the victim is at best, twisted. If the honourable lawmaker is robbed at home, his possessions carted away and his family members harmed, would he be kind enough to offer the criminal a place to stay in his home for rehabilitation purpose? 

Under the law, having sex with anyone below age of 16 is statutory rape regardless of consent. There shouldn't be an exception to it. If a child cannot consent to sex then surely she cannot also consent to marriage.                        

Can the government simply ignore the Penal Code? Any proposal to make child marriage an exception to rape merely legalises a criminal act against children. If that is the case, the government should move towards banning child marriage altogether.

Worldwide studies, including those from the United Nations and the Human Rights Watch show that girls who marry before they turn 18 are less likely to remain in school, more likely to experience domestic violence and tend to live in poverty. Statistics show that they also suffer from more complications in pregnancy and childbirth than women in their 20s.

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