Friday, August 19

Marriage no remedy for child rape – Jainab

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KOTA KINABALU: Marriage is not the remedy for the child rape issue, said Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Jainab Ahmad Ayid.

She stressed that this was regardless of whether the act was done with or without consent, and whether it was committed between minors, and especially when involving an adult.

“Marrying the minors off is at best a very temporary solution and should never be considered as the ‘best solution’,” said Jainab told the Borneo Post esterday.

“Marrying minors off because of the consequences of statutory rape will in many cases create more social problems like couples with low parental skills and low income.

“Marriage is a huge responsibility and are they equipped for it? What about looking at the statistics for divorce? How many are due to couples who are not ready to play their respective roles because they are too young to take that kind of responsibility in the first place?” said Jainab

“While marriage between minors are permitted under both Syariah and Adat (Customary) laws, there exist conditions to be fulfilled before permission is granted, that is, interviewing the parties to gauge their level of maturity,” she explained.

According to the minister, initiatives should instead be made to address and raise the mental maturity of minors so they could be equipped to deal with sexual encounters.

She said more energy should be channelled to increase awareness among minors on the consequences of sexual relationships.

“They should be made aware of the law on statutory rape and the penalties that follow, that is, imprisonment and caning. The focus should be for minors to be taught that they should place their studies first and get a good education and career,” stated Jainab.

“They should never have the thought that it’s alright to have sex and if they get pregnant then they’ll get married anyway. This will encourage irresponsible conduct in both male and female minors,” she warned.

Apart from that, Jainab also stressed that parents should prioritize the importance of instilling moral values and good evaluation skills among their children.

In addition, she reminded the society and authorities to play their part in protecting the younger generation.

PAS ulama information chief Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali’s recent proposal that encourages parents to marry off minors received a wave of disapproval nationwide.

However, Khairuddin defended his statement and said that the recommendation was based on the Al-Quran and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad.