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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 1 — Women, Family and Community Development deputy minister Hannah Yeoh today slammed public caning against women and children.
Yeoh said such sentencing is inappropriate in this day and age.
“It is inappropriate for women and children to be caned in the public,” she said during the ‘Speak Up — There’s an Elephant in the Room’ organised by Hospis Malaysia.
Yeoh was commenting on the 30-year-old single mother, who was sentenced to six strokes of the cane by the Terengganu Shariah High Court recently, for alleged prostitution.
The single mother reportedly turned to prostitution to care for her child after her ex-husband failed to provide child support. The man who was said to be the woman’s client was also reportedly released without any charge.
“The recent issue about the prostitution; and the heart of the problem is poverty. She is a single mother who is struggling to cope with raising a child on her own.
“This is the issue that needs to be discussed in depth instead of focusing on the punishment,” said Yeoh.
She also insisted that it is better to prevent social ills in the early stage, rather than reacting to them.
“If we dig deeper to the root cause of this problem, it is better to talk about prevention in the earlier stage,” she said.
She also responded to Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) proposal for the implementation of caning on offenders found guilty of corruption.
“Since MACC has given the suggestion, let it be discussed among the Cabinet first.
“Any amendment regarding law must be debated in the parliament and I’m sure all the stakeholders will be given an opportunity to give their review,” said Yeoh.