PRESS RELEASE BY DATO SRI S.K. DEVAMANY ON STEERING CLEAR OF LEGALISING A WRONGDOING
Child protection technically refers to protection of children from violence, exploitation, abuse, and neglect. Children and young people who are underage are protected through the set of laws, policies, regulations, and in place, to protect their best interests. With regards to the recent statement by Tasek Gelugor MP, Datuk Shabudin Yahya, that “rape victims can have a good life if they marry their rapist”, I find it offensive and simply repulsive; to suggest that you can make right a wrong, moreover an injustice to a young, innocent and vulnerable person, is despicable!
The Malaysian Penal Code Section 375 (g) is unequivocal that it is statutory rape for a man to have sex with a girl under 16 years of age, consensual or not. It is as simple as that, no ambiguity involved. The child has legal rights, and it is the parents’ responsibility to ensure that these rights are safeguarded.
It is outrageous to even think, yet alone suggest, that there is a route to legalise what is clearly unlawful, and immoral as well. Where is one’s conscience when you are inflicting harm, physically, mentally and spiritually, upon a young and innocent being? This is beyond social stigma, this is a matter of ruining an individual child’s life.
Please do not find a loophole to escape punishment. Even under the purview of “child marriages and permission by the parents”, one should not forget that every child is entitled to the simple joys and lessons in life – to have the opportunity to learn, explore, be happy, build confidence, and love unconditionally. Like a book with empty pages, children should be allowed the chance to fill up their ‘own book’ and lead a life of their choice, for them to eventually nurture a formidable future generation. We must remember that there is a chain reaction to everything. Parents and lawmakers should be mindful of this!
Senator Dato’ Sri S.K. Devamany
Deputy Minister in the Prime Ministers Department/
MIC Deputy President