Thursday September 20, 2012
Do away with the good behaviour bond clause, says Fatimah
KUCHING: A call has been made for perpetrators of statutory rape to be dealt with severely.
Welfare, Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah, at a meeting with her ministry at Wisma Wanita yesterday, wants amendments to the law which, according to her, gives perpetrators of the crime a chance to dodge imprisonment.
“There has been a public outcry on the two recent reported cases involving the rape of minors. The perpetrators were 21 and 19 years old respectively at the time of the offence, while their victims were aged 12 and 13, respectively.
“Both perpetrators were bound over with a RM25,000 good behavior bond, instead of imprisonment.
“It appears as if the court was more concerned about the perpetrators instead of the child victims of this heinous act,” she told reporters during a press conference.
She noted that Section 294 of the Criminal Procedure Code contained provisions for both imprisonment as well as a bound-over clause, which gave discretion to the presiding judge not to impose imprisonment where the offender was a first time offender or where there were extenuating circumstances surrounding the offence.
“I find this unacceptable. We would like the law to be amended to remove the bound-over clause in sexual offences involving child victims.
“These poor victims are too young, immature and gullible. They need the protection of the law.
“We will take this to parliament so that the law may be amended to ensure that these perpetrators be imprisoned instead of getting off with a good behaviour bond,” she stated.