Deputy Home Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar played armchair psychologist in Parliament today in an attempt to explain why statistics on statutory rape show that most of the victims are Malays.
According to him, statutory rape offends Malay sensibilities more than it does the sensibilities of other Malaysians, making it more likely for the former to report the crime.
He told the Dewan Rakyat that police recorded 1,550 reports on statutory rape in 2012, adding that Malays were victims in 1,243 of the cases. Chinese victims accounted for 73 and Indians 45. The rest were of other racial backgrounds.
He added that the proportions were similar in 2013, with 1,147 Malays, 62 Chinese and 32 Indians among the 1,424 victims.
“This means most Malays are sensitive to this kind of offence on teenage girls,” he said. “That’s why they lodge police reports.
“Non-Malays are probably less sensitive towards this. Probably they can accept it; so there are not much reports from them.”
He said the authorities had instituted several measures to prevent statutory rape, including the formation of a special police unit and the provision of counseling.
He blamed Internet pornography, peer influence and uncontrolled libido for the high incidence of statutory rape.
Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff (PAS-Rantau Panjang) asked whether weak enforcement could be one of the contributing factors, noting that there were only 162 convictions from some 3,000 police reports lodged in 2009.
Wan Junaidi said parents should play a bigger role than enforcement agencies in ensuring the safety of children.
“The enforcement agencies have done a lot,” he said, “but the society itself does not help. We often talk about good social values but we seldom put them into practice.
“What we do most on a daily basis is to talk politics and point fingers at each other.
“Society has to work hand in hand with the government if we want to curb statutory rapes.”