Rape, regardless of race, is a crime that should not be taken lightly.
The recent statement by the Deputy Home Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar who offered his two cents explaining why statistics on statutory rape show that most of the victims are Malays definitely sparked an outcry amongst the public.
According to him, statutory rape offends Malay sensibilities more than it does the sensibilities of other Malaysians, making it more likely for the former to report the crime. The Dewan Rakyat was informed that in 2012, 1,550 reports on statutory rape were recorded of which, 1,243 of the cases were Malay victims.
He added that the proportions were similar in 2013, with 1,147 Malays, 62 Chinese and 32 Indians among the 1,424 victims.
“This means most Malays are sensitive to this kind of offence on teenage girls,” he said. “That’s why they lodge police reports.”
“Non-Malays are probably less sensitive towards this. Probably they can accept it; so there are not much reports from them.”
Wan Junaidi also said that the authorities had instituted several measures to prevent statutory rape, including the formation of a special police unit as well las the provision of counselling.
He blamed Internet pornography, peer pressure and influence as well as uncontrolled libido for the high statutory rape reports.
Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff of PAS-Rantau Panjang asked if weak enforcement could be one of the causes, acknowledging that there were only 162 convictions from some 3,000 police reports lodged in 2009.
Wan Junaidi said parents should play a bigger role than enforcement agencies in ensuring the safety of their children.
“The enforcement agencies have done a lot,” he said, “but the society itself does not help. We often talk about good social values but we seldom put them into practice. What we do most on a daily basis is to talk politics and point fingers at each other. Society has to work hand in hand with the government if we want to curb statutory rapes.”
Tell us what you think about Wan Junaidi’s social commentary on statutory rape! We’d love to hear your opinion.