Marriage is best fix for statutory rape, says PAS cleric

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 30 — Amid concern over the rise in statutory rape cases nationwide, an Islamic cleric mooted today marrying off minors as the “best solution” to curbing this sexual crime.

PAS ulama information chief Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said parents should encourage their children to get married and the government should provide incentives for the couple to tie the knot.

“Marriage is the best solution provided by Islam in curbing this social ill. The society, especially parents should encourage and facilitate their children’s marriage. The government should also provide incentives to lighten the burden of couples who plan on getting married.

“The current definition of rape, prosecution and trial methods as well as punishment on the perpetrator and the victims’ rights, should be reviewed and streamlined according to Shariah criminal laws established by Islam,” he said in a statement.

Mohd Khairuddin was referring to statistics released by Bukit Aman, which revealed 6,910 rape cases from 2013 to 2015, where 52 per cent of the rape cases involved underage girls, 1,424 in 2013, 1,243 in 2014 and 920 until October this year.

What was more worrying was that from the 52 per cent, he claimed about 90 per cent of the statutory rape was “consensual” while only 10 per cent were “forced”.

He also said social interaction and dress codes based on Islam as the main guidance should be given serious emphasis again, especially in schools.

He warned that it would be a “futile effort” if sex education or reproductive health care that focused only on the legal, sexual and safety aspects were introduced as has been suggested as such programmes could potentially encourage rape unintentionally, just like the “safe and healthy sex life” campaign in Western countries. – MMO.

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