A Malaysian MP has drawn outrage for saying it can be OK for rapists to marry their victims and that some 12-year-old girls were “physically and spiritually” ready to get married.
Shabudin Yahaya from the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition said marriage could help victims “lead a better life”.
Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country, has just passed a new law on sexual offences against children.
Despite opposition efforts, the law does not ban child marriages.
It remains legal for Muslims under 16 to get married in Malaysia under certain circumstances.
‘Remedy to social problems’
Speaking during a parliamentary debate on the bill on Tuesday, Mr Shabudin said that although rape was considered a criminal offence, the rapist and the victim should both be “given a second chance to turn a new leaf”.
“Perhaps through marriage they [the rape victim and rapist] can lead a healthier, better life. And the person who was raped will 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.
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