When someone is in a desperate position he would do anything to help himself and so we read today about this man here, Riduan Masmud who has decided to marry a 13-year old girl whom he raped in his car somewhere in Sabah. The “sham marriage” is conducted apparently under shariah law and hence the underage victim and her rapist have now become husband and wife and therefore the rapist could/should not be prosecuted for statutory rape which under the penal code carries a sentence of 20 years jail plus whipping if found guilty.
And as if the prosecutor of this case were stumped or stunned, he agreed to withdraw the case which drew the ire of the public especially women. If this case is not taken seriously by the authorities, there would likely be more cases of such rapes and manipulative behaviour in the community where the perpetrator can get off scot free by invoking this so-called religious practice. Shame on Malaysia, and what a laughing stock of the world have we become!
Look at what an Indian Court has imposed on this convicted child rapist: It’s life imprisonment for the monster!
A statutory rape is a statutory rape and there is no two way about it!
The public uproar last year regarding the fine imposed by an Appeal Court on a national bowler for raping an underage girl instead of a custodial sentence as mandated under the provision of the law is still fresh in our mind.
And now comes this manipulation of the law. Surely this law, whatever it is, cannot precede the unlawful sexual act. The law should consider the moral right of the community at large and should not override public interest sending anxiety and fear to our vulnerable segment of society namely women,children, the poor and the marginalised. Incidentally, the 13-year old victim comes from a poor family.
The marriage is a bloody sham just looking at the neatly arranged items involving his wife,the girl’s father and even the girl herself. The next thing the rapist would do is to bribe registration department officials to alter the year of the girl’s birth! Corruption will rear its ugly head if legal recourse appears deceptive.
The most recent news about an attempt at nullification of the man’s marriage to his victim is comforting and borders on the sensible. At least something is being done to protect the sanctity of the religion and allowing justice take its course.
The law is framed and promulgated for public interests and let no one manipulate it at any cost. And the law on statutory rape is crystal clear.
The prosecution (given by the court till 6 June 2013 to decide whether to pursue the case or not) should deliberate carefully and employ all the legal provision to fight this audacity to pull wool over the public’s eye and obstruct the course of justice.
Don’t give up so easily to the faulty and shameful defence. Fight to the last breath and the Malaysian public (and concerned people of the whole world) is behind you. You would be remembered as a fighter and not as a shirker.
Justice must be done and let us all sleep peacefully when this is accomplished.