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Judicial CP - May 2002

masthead New Straits Times, Kuala Lumpur, 3 May 2002


Whipping will not stop incest

May 3: THOSE who commit the heinous crime of incest should be severely punished.

However, I cannot agree with those who call for public whipping of these perpetrators by certain sections of society, and I foresee a civilised society paying dearly for it at some time in the future.

Where will this stop? Drug trafficking is also a serious crime and we have the death penalty for it. I should think, then, that logically we should have public hangings too.

Where will these public displays of whipping and hanging take place? At Bukit Jalil Stadium? When will it take place? During football match breaks? Do we sell tickets and invite the spectators? And after the punishments have been meted out, do we go back to the second-half of the game? Then, do we cut off the limbs of those who steal to satiate people used to these punishments in public?

K. Gopalan Mantin

masthead New Straits Times, Kuala Lumpur, 3 May 2002

11 years, six strokes for raping girl, 14

By Johannes Ridu

MIRI, May 2. - A chicken rice seller was today sentenced to 11 years jail and six strokes of the rotan by the Sessions Court after he pleaded guilty to raping a 14-year-old girl in Bintulu last month.

Musa Aba, 20, from Kampung Penan in Sungai Sauh, Bintulu, admitted to the offence at Lot 54, Medan Sepadu, Bintulu, between 3pm and 4.30pm on April 15.

Sessions Court judge Abdul Rahman Sebli said rape was a serious offence.

"You also threatened the victim with a parang before you raped her," he told Musa who had pleaded for a lenient sentence.

According to the facts, Musa met the victim on April 15 in Bintulu, and invited her to his room in Medan Sepadu Bintulu.

He then forced her to have sex with him by threatening her with a parang.

The victim lodged a report at the Bintulu central police station five days later. A medical examination conducted by Dr Zamil Najwah of Bintulu Hospital confirmed that she had been raped.

Musa was arrested on April 21.

New Straits Times (M) Berhad

masthead The Star, KL, 4 May 2002

Other News & Views

Incest issue continues to make headlines

Compiled by Loo Yok Soi, Foo Yee Peng and M. Prakash (extract)

THE dreadful truth about incest continues to be told in Utusan Malaysia, with one article recalling the absurd replies that a former Prisons Department official got when he spoke to the perpetrators of the crime.

When Datuk Zaman Khan was the department director-general, he once asked a father why he had raped his own child.

Apparently, the man replied: "As a father, I had planted the seed before my child was born. Thus, I am rightfully the person to taste the fruit before anybody else."

Another columnist, Mazlan Nordin, warned about the possible backlash should public whipping be introduced in Malaysia to punish incest offenders.

"If the intention is to humiliate the offender, then the embarrassment will also hit the daughter or the wife who was raped. Those who watched the caning would say 'oh, so-and-so was raped, and the mother just kept quiet'," he wrote.

Furthermore, questions would be raised about the values of the Malay society if Malaysia hastily implemented this punishment which was not done in almost all Muslim countries, he added.

He said Malaysia must be prepared for criticisms from other countries throughout the world.

Citing the case of Pakistan which used to practise public whipping for other offences, Mazlan said the international press had described it as barbaric when pictures were published of a man tied to a pole and whipped several times.

"Lately, there had been no more pictures of public whipping from Pakistan. Maybe it has been stopped because it only brought shame to itself," Mazlan wrote.


1995-2001 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)

masthead The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 7 May 2002

Letters to the Editor

Public whipping not answer to curbing incest

I REFER to the news that the Government is likely to approve public whipping in view of rising incest cases.

I wish to express my disgust with the suggestion.

No doubt the wrongdoers must be punished proportionately to their crimes, but it is also equally important for the court, judges and legislature to be humane.

The whole idea of public whipping takes us one step back to the dark ages.

I don't want my children to see people being whipped mercilessly in public. No doubt the reported incest cases recently has caused a public outcry, but the Government must find humane ways to deal with the problem.

I think existing punishment for rape is sufficient regardless of whether the victim is related or still an infant.

Under Section 376 of the Penal Code, where a person is convicted of rape, the offender is liable to an imprisonment of not less then five years and not more than 20 years. Furthermore, the court is given the discretion to impose whipping to the offender not exceeding 24 strokes.

There is no proof that by imposing stiffer penalties, the crime rate involving incest and rape will reduce.

It is also disappointing to learn that Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim has proposed to shift the burden of proof on the accused, particularly in incest cases.

The reversal of the burden of proof to the accused would mean that everyone would be presumed guilty unless the accused could satisfy the court that he had not committed the crime.

This is clearly an erosion of the presumption of innocence. The court must see that the accused person be treated fairly and not be moved by public emotion and that there is sufficient evidence against the accused.

The innocent must be spared. The public must be protected against unjust or baseless allegations.

I also feel that the victim of the crime must be given counselling and medical help by the Government and that the victim be allowed to give evidence in a special way such as by video conferencing.

This is to protect the younger victim from the courtroom stress of facing the offender, whom most of the time is likely to be a family member.

The Government should make a full study on the cause of rising rape and incest cases. Perhaps, it is time for the Government to review the sex education policy and existing syllabus in public schools.

It is also time that parents play their part in society. Fathers, particularly, should teach their sons to respect members of the opposite sex and other female members. After all, a good family is the foundation of a good society.

SRIMURUGAN, Kuala Lumpur.

1995-2001 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)

masthead Daily Express, Kota Kinabalu, 8 May 2002

16 years' jail, rotan for raping girl, 9

Kota Kinabalu: A 23-year-old local from Kundasang was Tuesday jailed 16 years and ordered to be given 10 strokes of the cane for raping a nine-year-old girl.

In passing sentence, Sessions Court Judge Ravinthran Paramaguru told Jamain Sidun, a vegetable grower, that it was only in consideration of his "guilty" plea that he had not given him the maximum penalty of 20 years for the heinous act on a mere child.

Jamain admitted raping the Standard Three pupil in some bushes at Kg Sinisian in Kundasang, Ranau, on Feb 28 this year.

According to the facts presented by Prosecuting Officer ASP Bernard Leo, Jamain was staying in the same village as the victim and they had no family ties.

On the day of the incident, he had gone to her home on the pretext of meeting her father, purportedly to tell him that he wanted to return the suitcase which he borrowed from him (the father) about two months ago.

He then requested the victim's father to let his daughter accompany him to his sister's house in the vicinity where he had purportedly kept the suitcase.

The father unwittingly instructed his daughter and a son to follow Jumain.

As the three were walking to their supposed destination, Jamain handed some money to the victim's brother telling him to go to a nearby sundry shop and buy himself a packet of "maggi mee". He also told the boy that he and the victim would wait for him at the roadside.

However, when the boy returned, he found the two were no longer there. Failing to locate them, he went back home and informed his father about it.

Bernard said investigations revealed that after the boy went off to buy his packet of noodles, Jamain had led the victim towards some bushes where he took off her underwear and forced her to the ground and raped her.

In the meantime, the father, upon being informed by his son about the duo's disappearance went to look for them. After a fruitless search in the village, he headed towards some bushes and chanced upon Jamain whom he greeted and even inquired as to what he was doing there.

Jamain simply answered he was not doing anything. But just then the man heard his daughter calling out to him and as he peered further, saw his daughter lying in the bushes behind where Jamain was standing, with blood flowing down her private parts. He rushed to pick her up while Jamain fled the scene.

Neighbours later helped to call the police who came to the house and rushed the victim to the Ranau Hospital.

Jamain was arrested after a search at his workplace, Bina Negara camp in Kundasang, on March 3 this year.

Bernard, in urging the court to take a serious view of what the accused had done, said it was not an ordinary rape case as the victim was only nine years old.

He said the victim sustained heavy bleeding as a result of tears to her hymen and had to be sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for further treatment and according to the medical report, the suturing was done with difficulty.

Secondly, it was apparent that the act was premeditated. The accused had managed to get rid of the victim's brother and had deliberately hid the truth when the father asked him, said Bernard.

He said it was fortunate that the child was discovered by the father "as otherwise one shudders to think what else he might have done to the victim," he further submitted.

Stressing on the need for a deterrent sentence considering the rampancy of rape cases, the prosecution further added: "It is our duty to protect public interest... and let it be a lesson and clear message to others".

The judge concurred with the prosecution.

Copyright Daily Express, Sabah, Malaysia

masthead  The Star, KL, 11 May 2002

Habitual thief ordered jailed and whipped

KUALA LUMPUR: A security guard was jailed 18 months and ordered to be whipped six times after admitting in the magistrate's court here to stealing for the tenth time.

Ismadzi Nasir, 45, who has 18 previous convictions told the court yesterday that he had stolen a pair of pants worth RM49 from a shopping complex in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman at about 4.45pm on March 30, this year because he did not have money to buy one.

He asked the court to have mercy on him saying that he had four children to care for.

According to the facts of the case, Ismadzi had taken the pants and hidden it inside his jacket but was caught by the shopping complex's house detective Md Azmi Ali who saw him committing the offence.

Magistrate Syafeera Mohd Said ordered Ismadzi to serve his jail term from the date of arrest on March 30.

Earlier, prosecuting officer Chief Insp Chee Kuat Lin asked the court to impose a deterrent sentence by including whipping against Ismadzi saying the accused did not feel remorse for what he had done and was in fact a habitual offender.

The accused, he added, had been jailed and whipped several times between 1976 and last year for theft, possession of stolen property, having drugs, being a drug addict and running away from rehabilitation centres.

Prior to the March 30 case, his last case of theft was on Jan 11 last year and a magistrate's court here jailed him for six months and ordered for him to be whipped six times and kept under police supervision for a year.

1995-2001 Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)

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