BY HISHAMUDDIN RAIS PESANAN AKHIR SEBELUM MEMANCUT-TUKARTIUB

THIS IS NO LAUGHING MATTER MADAM MINISTER


 

PESANAN AKHIR SEBELUM MEMANCUT

It seems that we as a nation are full of contradictions. It sometimes feels as though many of our leaders, their cohorts and organisations are suffering from a weak form of schizophrenia. They appear to be holding two conflicting views simultaneously.


On the one hand we all abhor the abandoning of babies left to die in some drain or dump. At the same time we cane Malay women for illicit sex who actually don’t leave their babies to die. All of this while also offering single Malay mothers financial help. What are we to make of all this?


Bear in mind that on average, there is an illegitimate Malay child being born every half an hour in Malaysia last year. This statistic is according to a Berita Harian report dated March 21, 2010 which said 17,303 Malay children were born out of wedlock in 2009 and given birth certificates.


By that number we would have to cane a Malay woman every half an hour, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Surely that can’t be right.


What we should do is encourage the legitimisation of the child. The punishments should not be so severe as to actually encourage the abandonment of the innocent baby or the concealment of the identity of the father. Perhaps a token fine for the father will do so that he will own up to his responsibility. Scaring him with canings, prison and the like would be counterproductive. The mother and child, of course, deserve our utmost sympathy and support.


What of the 10 or 11 year olds getting married in Malaysia? This is absolutely wrong and no contrary argument, regardless of religious doctrine, is acceptable in the 21st century. We should actually punish the parents if they allow their children to marry so young. It is child abuse, pure and simple.


No child should be allowed to marry below the age of 16 as this is the minimum legal age for consenting sex. Personally, I think the minimum legal age for marriage should be 18.

POSTED BY TAXIDRIVER
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