An opposition lawmaker today expressed disappointment with the decision by the government not to criminalise marital rape.
“If a husband takes his wife’s money or belongings without her consent, it is theft. If a husband beats his wife, we call it assault and battery. So, why when a husband has sexual intercourse with his wife against her will, we don’t call it “rape”? Even sex worker has the right to say “No”,” DAP Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching said in a statement.
“Marriage is not a license to rape,” Teo added.
She was responding to reports that Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri had said the government has no intention to amend Section 375 of the Penal Code to criminalise marital rape.
Nancy however, had stressed that if a husband injures his wife for sex, it is still a crime under Section 375A of the Penal Code which came into force on September 7, 2007.
Nevertheless, Teo said that Section 375A has been ineffective.
“I have submitted a question to Home Minister, asking for the number of cases that have been charged and convicted under this section, and according to the answer dated June 11, 2015, none has been charged under this new section ever since it came into force,” she said.
Teo said the figures show that authorities are still reluctant to charge husbands for hurting their wives during sex, and second, it shows that many women still do not really know and and understand their rights.
“I respect the findings and conclusions of the special select committee in 2006 when the Penal Code (Amendment) Bill 2004 was tabled. However, it is now 2015, and it is time for us to review the existing provision so that our law is consistent with the developing concepts of human rights and equality.
“At the same time, Minister Nancy and Minister of Women Development should also start campaign to create awareness and educate both men and women about their responsibility and rights,” Teo urged.
– The Rocket