A-G’s Chambers: Deterrent sentencing for rape cases a must
PETALING JAYA, Sept 5 — Rape offenders should be meted harsh sentences to deter others from committing similar crimes against women and children, said the Attorney-General’s (AG) Chambers in a statement released late today.
The Star Online quoted the statement, which was signed by AG Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail (picture), as reading in part, “The department’s stand is that rape cases require deterrent sentencing to reflect the abhorrence and revulsion of the public towards such crimes.
“This aberration of justice for those who most need the protection of law must be rectified.”
It also said, “In determining the appropriate punishment, especially for statutory rape cases, among the major factors to be considered by all parties involved is public interest and the seriousness of offence committed.”
The news portal reported the AG’s Chambers, in reference to statutory rape, as saying, “In principle, an adult, or a person above the age of 18, especially persons known and trusted by the child victim, should not take advantage of a child as the child has not reached maturity.
“Even if it is said (alleged) that there was consent from the child victim for a sexual act, the consent must be questioned, due to the age and immaturity of the party which is said to have given its consent.”
The statement by the AG’s Chambers follows the recent public uproar over the cases of former national bowler Noor Afizal Azizan and electrician Chuah Guan Jiu who were bound over for five years and three years respectively on a RM25,000 good behaviour bond each after being found guilty of statutory rape.
In both cases, the judges had stated that they had taken the “bright futures” of both men into consideration as well as the fact the sex acts were consensual.
The AG’s Chambers added that it had filed an appeal against the Penang Sessions Court’s decision on August 29 for Chuah’s case and that it was considering the use of the court’s inherent power to review the decision in Noor Afizal’s case.