Does marriage make rape okay?
Much has already been said and reported about the Malaysian man who married his 13-year-old rape victim. Now, the state Sabah Welfare Department is seeking to nullify the marriage, and ensure the accused rapist, faces the full prosecution of federal law.
The father of the victim claims that the accused had “paid” the father of the victim, now his bride, RM5,000 as compensation under native laws, to receive permission to marry the victim. The accused insists says it is a marriage based on mutual liking
DPP Ahmad Nazmeen Zulkifli had originally not objected to the withdrawal of the case after the victim withdrew her report on 18 April. This raised a huge outcry, and under pressure from public interests groups and various officials who started taking an interest after the case went viral on the internet and in the country, grounds are being found for the marriage to be nullified.
Riduan spoke to reporters after Sessions Court Judge Ummu Khatom Abdul Samad set July 1 to 4 to hear the case. His counsel Loretto J. Padua had earlier presented the Riduan and his victim’s marriage certificate to the investigating officer.
Related: 12-year-old bride in Malaysia
The victim was also present in court. Frail and looking very much like an under-developed 13-year-old form an impoverished family, she seemed at a loss and out of place in the unwelcome spotlight and relentless barrage of questions.
Riduan said he would let his child-wife finish schooling and then work with his first wife who is a make-up artist. He claims his first wife has accepted his second marriage and would look after the wife-victim.
Unfortunately, even the girl’s own father said he accepted the marriage as his daughter liked Riduan. He says, “It is best for her that they get married. What else can I do?”
Under severe pressure and mounting anger form the Malaysian public, The Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail said on May 22 that were compiling a DNA report and other evidence in the rape case. The prosecution has until June 6 to decide whether they will pursue a statutory rape charge.
Various other officials had this to say.
Malaysia’s Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim – “In order to protect public interest and prevent such incidents, the Ministry urges that the man be charged under Section 376 of the Penal Code in the Sessions Court or Section 80 of the Sabah Syariah Offences Enactment 1995 in the Syariah Court for having sex outside of marriage.”
Ruth Liew, governor of the Malaysian Child Resource Institute – “She is still a child and comes from an impoverished family. His statement that many other men are marrying underage girls begs the question of whether something is right just because everyone’s doing it.”
Norhanida Anol, President of The Sabah Single Mothers Organization – “This is despicable! This man has given a platform for other men to act (rape) and then get away with it (marry the victim).”
Mariati Robert, head of the women and girls subcommittee at the Sabah Law Association – “Young men in Malaysia are quite aware that they should never have a sexual relationship with girls under 16. Out of this case we need to increase public awareness on the situation, on the law as it is, so there will be more respect, so people don’t have relationships with underage girls.”
First time drug users, thieves and even protesters get arrested and spend days immediately and months and years afterwards meditating on their abuse and crimes. Here, a rapist gets to spend his nights subjugating his underage victim even further.
We wonder what it would take before rape gets recognised for the horrific crime it is, against a person’s physical body, and even worse, forcing a life time of hellish mental trauma and anguish!
Related: Increase of rape cases in Malaysia
- Group upset over man marrying underage victim
- Probe into why teen withdrew rape report
- Rape accused defends marriage to 13-year-old, says it was mutual
- M’sian, 40, accused of rape married the 13-year-old: Lawyer
- Malaysian Man Accused Of Rape Marries 13-Year-Old Victim; Attorney General Vows To Pursue Charges