A Malaysian lawmaker ignited the fury of the internet after making controversial statements saying he sees nothing wrong with rape victims marrying their rapists.
Member of Parliament Datuk Shabudin Yahaya of Tasek Gelugor said that those who were raped wouldn’t have to go through such a “bleak future” if they married their rapists. Furthermore, he even said that girls aged nine to 12 are “physically and spiritually” ready for marriage.
Shabudin reasoned that women marrying their rapists would somehow be a remedy for their growing social problems, according to told the Dewan Rakyat (via The Star).
“Perhaps through marriage they can lead a healthier, better life. And the person who was raped does not necessarily have a bleak future. She will have a husband, at least, and this could serve as a remedy to growing social problems,” he said.
He also added that some barely teen girls look older than their age.
“When we discuss 12- and 15-year-olds, we don’t see their physical bodies because some children aged 12 or 15, their bodies are like 18-year-old women.”
According to The Star, he also pointed out how girls become “safer” when they marry instead of being left alone.
Shabudin’s comments came while lawmakers were debating on amending the Sexual Offences Against Children Bill 2017 to include child marriages as an offence.
Many netizens were appalled by what Shabudin said with one saying, “If a man was a good man he wouldn’t rape the child in the first place. Children must be protected by adults. Marrying your child to her rapist is like serving meats to the lion.”
Meanwhile, Politicians Teo Nie Ching and Dr. Siti Mariah both disagreed with what Shabudin had to say, citing that marrying a victim to her attacker would be more problematic.
But to further explain his opinion, Shabudin said that it would not be fair to assume that the rapist would continue to be a bad person.
In the end, the motion submitted by Teo Nie Ching to amend the Sexual Offences Against Children Bill to include child marriages as an offence was defeated in a voice vote.