Amendment to Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code has finally enforced. This is the work of the Parliament Select Committee that review Penal Code and CPC.
I was one of the members of the committee. Frankly, to be a member in this select committee and to be able to play a role in amending the Penal Code and CPC, and put in lots of safeguards on human rights in these two bills are the most fulfilling and satisfactory work in my entire political life.
The NST has a report on our work.
I was a bit surprised to read the remarks of Women’s Aid Organisation’s Programme officer Chin Oy Sim. I thought the women’s groups understand the problem faced by the select committee. We have tried our best to insert Marital Rape into the Penal Code. We purposely didn’t call it Marital Rape but we use the phrase of “husband using violence in a sexual intercourse” to avoid having a full on clash with the Islamists. If that were to happen, we’ll end up with no amendments of any type.
This is a great achievement for us. It is really not easy for us to put this in the law, especially in this era where Islam and Islamic principles have been openly embraced in the law-making institutions.
There are a lot more on the amendment of CPC, where we have reduced the chances for the police to bully and beat up lock-up detainees or those who have been arrested by the police. This include the repeal of section 113 of the CPC (where a lock-up detainee can make confession statement to police, this is the time where the police can abuse their power by forcing the detainee to confess), and reduce period of detention for detainees for further investigation under section 117.
Besides, a person is entitled to make one phone call before he is put into lock-up, and he is entitled to meet his lawyer prior to investigation, unless he has committed serious crime such as kidnap or terrorism offences. We put all these amendments into the bill despite objection from the police.
There are lots more good changes in these two bills. I am truly happy that the Select Committee finally made it. I also need to register my appreciation to Datuk Radzi (the then law minister) who headed the select committee for about two years. I appreciate his openness in listening to all views and presentations, and his willingness to bring change in these two bills.
I know the amendments to these bills are not perfect. I know the Attorney General is quite upset with the Select Committee as now MPs are trying to amend laws. He might have seen that MPs have stepped into his territory. He has forgotten that the MPs are the law-makers, we are the legislators that elected by the people, and he, the AG is only a government servant. AG’s chamber has tried to delay the bills from being enforced by making further minor amendment early this year.
However, the two bills now are finally being enforced now. Many lives could be saved and many people could avoid to be beaten up in police lock-up with the amendment of the CPC.
Halleluiah!!! I can’t write further as I need to catch an early flight to Penang tomorrow morning: – )
7 Responses to “Mixed reaction to marital rape reform”