Malaysians outraged by rape of 10-year olds

Malaysians have expressed outrage and bewilderment over the rape and murder of two 10-year-old girls in two weeks, with some groups calling for child-rapists to be castrated and others blaming the crimes on television violence.

    Malaysia is home to a conservative Muslim population

    A female senator said the tragedies shattered the myth, prevalent in this mainly-Muslim country, that women invite rape by dressing too provocatively.
    "What have all these people to say now? That the 10-year-old was dressed seductively?" asked Senator Jaya Partiban.

    All Women's Action Society president Mary Suma Cardosa said they had been lobbying for years for amendments to laws on rape, which currently prescribe maximum penalties of 20 years in jail and whipping.
    On Saturday, schoolgirl Nur al-Huda Ghani was found barely alive and naked on the floor in the toilet of a guardhouse just 100 metres from her home. She had been gang-raped by three men, sodomised and strangled. She was taken to hospital, but later died.

    Nur al-Huda had been sent to a nearby grocery shop on an errand for her mother.

    Two men, a 46-year-old guard and a 27-year-old unemployed man have been arrested, and police are searching for a third suspect.

    On 8 January, Haserati Saridi, also 10 years old, was stabbed to death after being raped while walking to school in eastern Sabah state. 

    Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation vice-chairman Lee Lam Thye suggested that sex and violence in television and movies should be curbed. 

    Castration suggested

    Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) hotline service chairman Tai Sim Yew urged the government to introduce surgical or chemical castration for rapists who prey on children.

    According to official police statistics, the number of reported rape cases rose from 1210 in 2000 to 1354 in 2001 and 1418 in 2002.
    Almost two-thirds of the victims were under the age of 16.



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