KUALA LUMPUR, March 15 — Rape will now be broadened to include other body parts and objects in the Child Sexual Offences Bill 2017 that will be tabled in Parliament.
Parliamentary draftsman from the Attorney-General’s Chambers Datuk Ilani Mohd Ibrahim said this was key to ensuring those who violated women, especially young girls, would not escape justice.
At present, the Penal Code defines rape as sexual intercourse without the women’s consent.
“We are working to clarify the definition of rape to include other bodily parts and objects. This is to ensure those committing such acts will finally be brought to justice,” she said at the “Child Sex Crimes: Stop!” seminar at Putra World Trade Centre yesterday.
Ilani was referring to a 2015 case when a 60-year-old man was acquitted of four counts of rape with a minor in Sarawak after he claimed he penetrated the girl with his fingers.
“Even the Appellate Court judge who handled the case requested for an urgent need to review the definition of rape,” she said.
Ilani said the bill proposed heavier sentences meted out to the perpetrators. At present, convicted rapists could be sent to prison for not more than 20 years and would be whipped, based on the court’s discretion.
She said laws addressing sexual grooming were already seen in the Child Act 2001.
“But the bill will be more comprehensive,” she said, without elaborating.
Ilani said the new law would help police in its investigation into such cases.
“We do hear of cases where those accused of such crimes were not persecuted because the statements provided by the victims, who are minors, were not strong enough,” she said.
“The amendments to the law will not only help with the prosecution of offenders but with the investigation of such cases as well.”
Ilani, however, did not provide examples of how would the amendments help law enforcers in the future.