KL looks into broader definition of rape

About 100 people at a Kuala Lumpur shopping complex protesting following the acquittal of a 60-year-old man accused of raping a minor.
About 100 people at a Kuala Lumpur shopping complex protesting following the acquittal of a 60-year-old man accused of raping a minor.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia's Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nancy Shukri said the country's definition of rape will be broadened and tabled in Parliament as soon as possible.

Ms Shukri, the minister in charge of law, said on Thursday the definition of rape in the Penal Code was too narrow because it was limited to cases where penetration occurred. She has written to the Attorney-General for a review of existing laws.

She told reporters she was unhappy with the Court of Appeal's acquittal in May of a 60-year-old man in the so-called "finger-rape" case.

The suspect, Bunya Jalong, told the court he had inserted his semen-smeared fingers into an underage girl in 2011. She became pregnant and gave birth in February 2012. A DNA test confirmed he was the baby's father, but the court ruled he could not be convicted based on the legal definition of rape.

Ms Shukri revealed that the Attorney-General was consulting with medical professionals and non-governmental organisations on how best to amend the law.

"They are trying to look into other possibilities... to include not just fingers but other objects as well," she told reporters after visiting an exhibition on domestic violence.

"Hopefully, we can make it in time to table the amendments at the next parliamentary sitting," she added.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 04, 2015, with the headline 'KL looks into broader definition of rape'. Print Edition | Subscribe