LDP's Central Women fume over MP's rape victim, child marriage remarks

AVILA GERALDINE

KOTA KINABALU: The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Central Women has called on the Barisan Nasional top leadership to exclude lawmaker Datuk Shabudin Yahya from its line-up of candidates in the next general election following his recent rape victim and child marriage remarks which sparked outrage in many quarters.

In a statement, the party's Central Women leader, Shim Nyat Yun, said the comments made by the Tasek Gelugor Member of Parliament at the Dewan Rakyat were blatantly disrespectful to women and an embarrassment to men.

"Although MPs have the privilege of legal immunity to discuss matters freely in the Dewan Rakyat, I hope that BN will order Shabudin to retract his statement and make a public apology to the people.

"I also urge BN’s top leadership to remove Shabudin, as he will certainly lose defending his Tasek Gelugor seat.

"No voter with a conscience will continue to support Shabudin and his inhumane view," she said.

Shim said that Shabudin’s suggestion that rapists be allowed to marry their young victims has tarnished the image of MPs in the country.

“No one in their right mind would say such a thing," she said, adding that Shabudin should not appear in Parliament.

Shim said the Penal Code has made it clear that sexual intercourse with an underage girl, with or without her consent, is an offence of statutory rape.

Expressing her disgust over Shabudin’s remark that some girls as young as nine are “physically and spiritually” ready for marriage, she said that the view is unacceptable and urged the Tasek Gelugor MP to apologize to all women and parents in Malaysia.

“Our country has become an international laughing stock, as Shabudin’s statement has been picked up by foreign media. He owes the public an apology,” she stressed.

Shim hopes the Sexual Offences Against Children Bill 2017, which was passed in the Dewan Rakyat, will be strictly enforced to eradicate sexual offences against children.

"Everyone has a responsibility in protecting children from getting harmed. Perpetrators of child sexual abuse deserve the most severe punishment, not marrying their victims as a remedy,” she added.

Yesterday, Sabah Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Jainab Ahmad Ayid said Shabudin's view is unbecoming, because it came from a leader living in a modern era.

“I am totally against a rapist who (victimises) a child and later (marries) her. For me, rape is rape. If someone really wants to marry the person, he wouldn’t rape first.

"There must be something wrong in a person’s mind if they allow a rapist to marry his victim,” she was reported as saying.