KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 — The government will soon table in Parliament a provision disallowing judges from exercising their discretionary power to reduce the sentence given to statutory rapists, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, following an uproar on the light sentences received by two men convicted of having sex with their barely pubescent girlfriends.
If passed, it will be added to section 376 of the Penal Code, which
prescribes a mandatory jail sentence for those convicted of statutory
According to a Star Online report today, Nazri (picture),
who is the de facto law minister, said the provision would state that
section 294(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code, which gives the judge
discretionary power to reduce or give a lighter sentence to the accused,
would not apply.
“If passed, the provision will mean that judges cannot give lighter sentence in the case of statutory rape.
“I have spoken to the Attorney-General on the provision and he has
agreed; therefore it will be tabled in the next Parliament sitting,” he
was reported as saying at a press conference in Padang Renggas, Perak
Nazri said the additional provision was important as it would protect minors.
The minister had last month said the government was considering
setting up a sentencing council to ensure the streamlining of criminal
punishment meted out by the courts.
"The government believes that a sentencing council can be put in
place but not a committee to review court decisions," Nazri told
Parliament on September 25.
"It is dangerous if we have a review system as this will create
another tier in the legal system. This is because there is a committee
higher than the courts to review their decision," he said then.
Nazri further said the proposed sentencing council would only look at
streamlining court sentences and not revisit cases to review judgments.
The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) has also backed amendments to
the law to inflict tougher penalties on convicted child rapists.
“The department’s stand is that rape cases require deterrent
sentencing to reflect the abhorrence and revulsion of the public towards
“This aberration of justice for those who most need the protection of
law must be rectified,” the AGC said in a statement on September 5.
In August, former national bowler Noor Afizal Azizan and electrician
Chuah Guan Jiu who were bound over for five years and three years
respectively on a RM25,000 good behaviour bond each after being found
guilty of statutory rape.
In both cases, the judges had stated that they had taken the “bright
futures” of both men into consideration as well as the fact the sex acts
The AGC added that it had filed an appeal against the Penang Sessions
Court’s decision on August 29 for Chuah’s case and that it was
considering the use of the court’s inherent power to review the decision
in Noor Afizal’s case.
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