KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — De facto law minister Nancy Shukri today said the government will not amend Section 375 of the Penal Code to categorise non-consensual sex between a married couple as rape.
She said Putrajaya through the Parliamentary Select Committee on rape decided against making the amendment as sex between a man and woman in a legitimate marriage cannot be considered as rape.
“Based on the research tabled to the committee, the government had decided to maintain the provisions under Section 375 of the Penal Code that sex between a husband and wife in a lawful marriage cannot be considered as rape.
“Until today there is no suggestion for it to be amended,” Nancy said in a Parliamentary written reply.
“However, the act of a husband in causing hurt to his wife with the purpose of soliciting sex was already considered an offence under Section 375A of the Penal Code since September 7, 2007,” she added.
Under Section 375A of the Penal Code, a man who uses harm or the threat of violence to obtain sex from his wife, or any other person, may be imprisoned up to five years upon conviction.
Malaysians are divided over the issue of marital rape and the subject became a hotly debated topic recently when Muslims argued that, in Islam, non-consensual sex in a marriage cannot be considered rape.
The issue blew up after a state lawmaker from DAP launched a campaign to educate the public about rape, which included a poster saying that non-consensual sex in a marriage was also considered rape..
Disagreement to the existence of marital rape was not limited to Muslims, however, with one apparently non-Muslim user claiming that a husband having non-consensual sex with his wife did not equate to forced intercourse.