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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Social media users slam minister’s ‘doing well’ stupid statement

They ask how a girl who was forced to marry her rapist can be doing well when her life was 'destroyed' and her husband can't even provide for her as he is in jail

Social media users are up in arms over a minister’s statement that a 16-year-old girl in Sabah, who married the man convicted of raping her when she was 12, is doing well.

At the Dewan Rakyat earlier today, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rohani Abdul Karim said the girl, who is living with her parents was in good health.

Riduan Masmud, 44, meanwhile, is serving his prison sentence.

Rohani added that the girl was given counselling to ensure she was doing well.

Facebook user Brian Chong said this course of action was not helpful, and that the girl deserved to be married to a good man instead of someone who had raped her and was now serving a 12-year jail sentence for it.

“I don’t get the law. Sure, she’s married but the guy is serving 12-year jail term which means she’s unable to marry, has a husband whom she does not know and can’t contribute to her welfare for more than a decade,” he wrote.

Chong said the man should be punished for his crime and not allowed to marry the girl, who was 12 at the time.

Chris Chin meanwhile slammed Rohani’s statement, saying rape was not a crime that could be pardoned by marriage.

“A heinous crime like rape can’t be absolved simply by the rapist agreeing to marry the victim.

“A crime is still a crime regardless of the resolve of the criminal to make amends to the victim. The rapist must still face justice.”

Several other social media users said they were baffled by the minister’s statement.

Facebook user Siti Balqish said: “The girl was dragged into a vehicle and was raped violently.

“Later, her father was bribed to retract the police report made by the girl herself and to cover everything up, she was forced to marry her rapist. Yet they say that she is doing fine?”

Reza Zainal said there was nothing “fine” about a girl being raped and forced to marry her rapist.

“The rapist has destroyed the life of an innocent child. What’s fine about that?” he asked.

Still others suggested that the girl seek a divorce since her husband was incapable of providing for her.

Riduan, a former restaurant manager, was convicted of raping the girl in 2015. He is currently behind bars at the Kepayan prison in Kota Kinabalu.

Riduan, who had four children aged between two and 17 at the time of the offence, was charged with raping the girl in a vehicle near Kionsom Waterfall in Inanam between 9am and 10am on Feb 18, 2013.

He married the girl in May 2013 to escape conviction and was charged with bribing the girl’s father with RM10,000 to withdraw the police report the girl had made against him.

He was sent to jail after the Kota Kinabalu High Court dismissed the appeal on the statutory rape case.
By Nur Khairah Alegria Suner

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