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Judicial CP - April 2004
Utusan Express online, Kuala Lumpur, 9 April 2004
Can the law curb rape cases?
KUALA LUMPUR - "You have been found guilty. Therefore, the court sentences you to 19 years' imprisonment and 12 strokes of the rotan for raping your daughter who was 15 years old then."
Kota Bharu Sessions Court judge Mohamad Yazid Mustafa made the decision on Feb 8 after a 43-year-old ex-soldier was found guilty of raping his own daughter at his house in Tanah Merah, Kelantan, at about 4 am on Dec 25, 2001.
Mohamad Yazid said, as a father, the accused should protect his daughter and not take advantage by raping her after fetching the girl home from an elderly relative's house.
Is such punishment enough to deter rapists from committing the condemned act? Or, should severe penalties, such as the death sentence, life imprisonment or public caning be considered to curb the crime?
Whatever it is, rape and murder have been on the rise of late and parents are worried about letting their daughters out or to stay at home alone.
Solicitor General Datuk Zaiton Zawiah Puteh said prior to Aug 1, 2002, the charge of rape under Section 375 of the Penal Code did not specify cases involving family members or incest.
She said the maximum punishment for rape is 20 years' jail and minimum is five years, and caning may also be meted out but it is not mandatory.
After Aug 1, 2002, the Penal Code was amended to introduced new provisions - Section 376A and Section 376B.
Section 376A defines "incest" as sexual intercourse with another person whose relationship to him or her is such that he or she is not permitted, under the law, religion, custom or usage applicable to him or her, to marry that other person.
Section 376B provides the punishment - a minimum of six years' jail, up to 20 years and liable to caning.
Later, Act A1210 amended the Penal Code to include a penalty of not more than 30 years' jail and not less than 15 years as well as mandatory caning of not less than 10 strokes if whoever commits rape on a woman whose relationship to him is such that he is not permitted under the law, religion, custom or usage, to marry her.
It also provides the death penalty for whoever causes death while committing rape or attempting to do so.
Zaiton is of the opinion that prevention is much more vital in curbing rape and murder, but must be balanced with suitable punishment.
She feels that existing laws on rape are sufficient.
Meanwhile, several quarters feel that imposing the heavier punishment is important to curb such crime.
Malaysian Parents Consensus Council president Prof Madya Mohamad Ali Hasan suggests immediate amendment be made to existing laws by taking into account the appropriate punishment to match the crime as it will also serve as a "scare and deterrent" in keeping with the Islamic religion.
He recommends that a convicted rapist who caused death to the victim be caned publicly and given the mandatory death sentence while those guilty of similar offence but not causing death be sentenced to life imprisonment and given the rotan.
"It is time for public stoning and caning to be implemented to make the public, particularly Muslims, realise that such punishment has been used for ages and Muslims should not dispute it," he said.
Agreeing with Mohamad Ali's proposal is Mufti for the Federal Territory Prof Dr Mohammed Yusoff Hussin who is of the opinion that such punishment would educate society against committing such crime.
"If society feels that public caning will cause embarrassment to the family of the offender, that it is cruel and against human rights, why must we be more concerned about the rapist and not the victim?" he asked.
"How do you think the family of the victim would feel ... don't they too suffer from embarrassment throughout the life. Whoever has committed the crime must face the consequences," he added.
Dr Mohammed Yusoff, however, is against castration, mainly due to humanity.
"Just maximise the existing punishment and that will be enough," he said.
Mohammed Yusoff also suggests that rapist be given fitting punishment based on the provisions and if the crime involves death then it must be punishable with death.
"This punishment must be adhered to by all, no matter what faiths they are and should not be disputed if society wants to see this cruel crime is curbed," he stressed.
Meanwhile, Federal Territory Women Lawyers' Association deputy president Yasmin Shariff disagrees on the implementation of public caning as she feels that counselling the rapist will be the best solution to address the problem.
She is also of the opinion that education on family health should begin at primary school with the purpose of, among other things, exposing the children to knowledge on the human physiology, potential risks and the need to report when something happens to them.
© UTUSAN MELAYU (M) BHD., 46M, Jalan Lima Off Jalan Chan Sow Lin, 55200 Kuala Lumpur.
New Sabah Times, Kota Kinabalu, 24 April 2004
Court rejects plea for leniency, jail and whipping for 20-year-old
Jailani (centre) -- Two years' jail and a stroke of the rotan.
KOTA KINABALU: The Sessions Court here turned down a plea for a non-custodial sentence by a 20-year-old labourer from Kudat and instead sentenced him to prison for two years and ordered him to be given a stroke of the cane for injuring a taxi-driver in an armed robbery.
Judge Ravinthran Paramuguru held that the offence committed by Jailani bin Zainal @ Juminal does not merit a binding over, as the offence committed was a serious one.
"I have taken into consideration that the accused is young, only 20 years of age, and has pleaded guilty to the case. However, the offence committed was very serious and therefore the court feels this case is not suitable for binding over," said Ravintran.
Jailani was charged with voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery, under Section 394 of the Penal Code, which carries a jail term of up to 14 years, and liable to a fine or whipping on conviction.
In mitigation, counsel Pawai @ Francis Mondorusun urged the court not to impose a custodial sentence on the accused and asked for him to be bound over instead.
The counsel submitted that the accused is still young, has pleaded guilty, and has promised to repent.
Jailani was charged with causing voluntarily hurt using a machete to one Hoh Thien Loi @ Hoh Myan Boo, 54, at Jalan Lau San, Kudat at 9.30am on March 14.
According to the facts of the case as tendered by the prosecuting officer, Chief Insp Abdul Rahman Atan, prior to the incident, Jailani hailed a taxi driven by Hoh near Ria Hotel, Kudat.
Jailani then asked to be sent to Lau San road, but on reaching there, he took out a machete and aimed it on Hoh’s arm. However, before the accused could say anything, Hoh grabbed the machete injuring his fingers in the process before a scuffle between the two ensued.
Fortunately for the taxi driver, a van appeared and the accused ran away towards the road leading to Kota Marudu.
Hoh then went to lodge a police report and handed over the machete to them. Jailani who failed to take anything from the taxi driver, was arrested along Jalan Bak Bak, Kudat.
Ravinthran ordered the jail term on Jailani to begin from the date of his arrest.
New Sabah Times, Kota Kinabalu, 24 April 2004
Teenager gets 12 years and six strokes for rape
JACKSON (left)…..convicted of raping a 13-year-old student – 12 years' jail and six strokes of the rotan
KOTA KINABALU: An unemployed local from Kudat was yesterday jailed 12 years and ordered to be given six strokes of the cane for raping a 13-year-old girl last year.
Sessions Court Judge Ravinthran Paramaguru meted out the sentence on Jackson Jikon, 19, who was charged under Section 376 of the Penal Code.
The offence carries a jail term of up to 20 years and liable to whipping on conviction.
Jackson from Kg. Dualog, Kudat was charged with raping the student inside a room of a house in Kg. Setinggan, Kudat between July and August 2003.
The victim in her police report lodged on Jan 5 this year, claimed she was raped by the accused, who is known to her, since January last year.
She claimed the accused would come around her house after she comes back from school in the afternoon and while her parents were out working.
On the day in question, the victim said the accused brought her to the bedroom and raped her on the bed after undressing her.
Police investigations found that the accused raped the girl on four more occasions between July and August last year.
The victim lodged a police report after her parents came to know about the incidents resulting in the immediate arrests of the accused.
Prosecuting officer, Chief Insp Abdul Rahman Atan told the court the victim was brought for examination at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) where doctors confirmed a tear on her private part signifying penetration has taken place.
Ravinthran ordered the victim to serve sentence from the date of his arrest.Copyright © 1999-2000 New Sabah Times. All Rights Reserved.
The Sun, Kuala Lumpur, 27 April 2004
Man with drugs escapes death
By Regina William
PENANG: For Tang Kheng Teong, 38, who was sentenced to death on a drug trafficking charge, having to endure 10 strokes of the rotan must be a great relief, considering he has had "death" hanging over his head for the past five years.
Tang, a debt collector, who had been sentenced to death by the High Court on March 27, 1999, after being found guilty of trafficking in 1.7kg of heroin, had his sentence revised on appeal on Tuesday.
The Federal Court sitting here commutted his death sentence to 16 years' jail and 10 strokes of the rotan, with the sentence to run from the date of his arrest.
Since Tang has been in remand since his arrest in 1990, he was considered to have fully served his jail sentence.
He was sent back to Taiping Prison to receive his 10 strokes of the rotan.
Borneo Bulletin, Brunei, 30 April 2004
Indonesian jailed 10 years for illegal firearm
By Marie Sitong
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