Free Malaysia Today
By Leven Woon
KUALA LUMPUR | Oct 14, 2012
DAP’s Teresa Kok urges the AG Chambers to consult relevant groups before tabling a bill in parliament to restrict judges’ power on statutory rape sentences.
De facto law minister Nazri Aziz was today urged to conduct thorough consultation with relevant groups before a bill is tabled in parliament to amend laws pertaining to statutory rape.
DAP parliamentarian for Seputeh Teresa Kok said Nazri must first setup a committee that included Attorney-General’s Chambers (AG) and Women, Family and Community Development Ministry so that a refined law could be drafted to best resolve the matter.
“The committee should consult women’s groups, deputy public prosecutors, social workers, shelter homes and so on to get their opinion,” she said at a press conference at the Federal Territories DAP annual convention 2012 today.
Kok was commenting on Nazri’s statement yesterday that an amendment would be tabled in parliament soon to disallow judges from exercising their discretionary power, under the Criminal Procedure Code 294 (1), to reduce the sentence given to statutory rapists.
Nazri had reportedly said that the provision would be added to Section 376 of Penal Code, which prescribes mandatory jail sentences for those convicted of statutory rape.
In recent months, the public had raised concerns on judges’ discretionary power after a national bowler and an electrician were allowed to go scot free despite having committed statutory rape against their underaged girlfriends respectively.
Koh said she was against the mandatory five year jail term used to be meted out to the statutory rapist before 2006, but added she was also against no punishment.
“Nowadays many teenagers have consensual sex, and the trend is increasing. If a 18-year-old guy was brought to jail for five years for having sex with his girl friend, his future will be gone,” she said.
“In the United States or United Kingdom, the laws are very detailed in those offences. So I think we should make laws to be more refined as well,” she said.
Meanwhile, the convention attended by 82 participants and 12 observers had passed resolutions to urge the federal government to take stringent measures on the annual budget to prevent leakages; to elevate the status of Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to be answerable to parliament; and to review the Automated Enforcement System, among others.
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