KUALA LUMPUR: Rape victims can have an opportunity to lead a healthy and good life if they marry their rapists, Tasek Gelugor Member of Parliament Datuk Shabudin Yahya told the Dewan Rakyat today.
According to him, girls aged between nine to 12 years old are "physically and spiritually" ready for marriage.
“They reach puberty at the age of nine or 12 and at that time, the physical state of their body is already akin to those 18 years of age.
"For a wife who was raped, if she can marry (the rapist) she would not go through such a bleak future.
"At least she has someone who can become her husband. So, this will be a remedy to social problems," he said while debating the Child Sexual Offences Bill here today.
He said this when objecting an amendment to the bill which was proposed by DAP's Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching who wanted the bill to be amended to also spell out the invalidity of child marriages.
The proposed amendment was voted down and the bill was subsequently passed with no major changes.
In explaining further the reason for his opinion, Shabudin pointed out that it is also not fair to assume that a person who committed a sexual offence will continue being a bad person.
“Maybe he repents, or regrets. It is better to have people who regret rather than people who do not regret.
"So in this case, let us not put an assumption that the person will remain bad. (Marriage) can be an exit clause for this problem,” he said.
The former Syariah court judge was defending existing law which allows minors to be married off as long as their parents or guardians seek permission from the Syariah Courts.