Aug 10, 2012

Another Pandora box opens...

Malaysia is a fertile breeding ground for rapist, because it is okay to commit Statutory Rape as long as you can prove      to have a 'bright future' and 'serve public interest'.
Shame on you, Noor Afizal!!
Shame on you, Tan Sri Rauz Shariff!!
I'm sure your mothers, sisters, daughters, aunties, grandmothers, all your female relatives, friends, fellow bowlers and fellow Judges will be so god-damn proud of you-two-marderfarkers.
She was 13. A 21-year-old man had sex with her. According to the Penal Code, sex with an under-aged girl is statutory rape. He pleaded guilty. Today he is free. All he has to do is fork out RM25,000 and be on his best behavior for the next five years.
This is the brief of a statutory rape case with an outrageous ruling.
Now, let's get to the details. The accused person is national tenpin bowling ace Noor Afizal Azizan.
Taking into account that he is a national champion, the Court of Appeal ruled that a jail term is not in public interest as Noor Afizal has a promising future.
This is shocking.
Can it be consensual with a kid?
When the case was first heard in the Sessions Court, the judge ruled that Noor Afizal must be bound by a five-year term for good behavior and slapped a penalty of RM25,000 on him.  But he also said that it was a consensual act.
Sex with a 13-year-old is consensual? Really? Bollocks. Whatever happened to going by the law?
When the prosecution appealed the case, the High Court ruled that Noor Afizal serves a five-year jail term. But semblance of justice for the victim, a child, remains elusive with the recent ruling.
It's difficult to comprehend the judgment, which can only be described as reckless. It has failed to take into account the abuse endured by the victim, the emotional, mental and physical well-being, not to mention a crushed future.
In short, the accused person has robbed the child off her childhood. I can only imagine her trauma.
Mentality of the judiciary
On a deeper level, the ruling reflects the state of judiciary in the country, which seem to signal that rapists can have a "Get out of Jail Free" token if they hold an important position in the society, have a great future, are famous and with a fat bank balance.
The judgment has endorsed rape and set a grotesque precedence. It has also clearly shown that the country's judicial system is incapable of delivering justice to victims, especially children.
What kind of a society are we becoming? What kind of values are we teaching our younger generation?
We live in an environment where sex between consenting adults are open to moral policing. We live in a society that is quick to condemn homosexuality and same sex marriage.
What do we have to say about this ruling? A ruling which has allowed a rapist to walk the streets free?
I call upon child rights advocates, human rights organizations, civil society members, media workers, lawmakers, senators and the public to denounce this judgment.
In coming together, we bring with us the hope that the child victim gets justice at the Federal Court.
I pledge solidarity with the victim's family throughout this ordeal.
Charles Santiago is Member of Parliament, Klang

PUTRAJAYA: A national bowler escaped custodial sentence for committing statutory rape with a 13-year-old girl three years ago.

The Court of Appeal yesterday allowed Noor Afizal Azizan's appeal against the High Court decision to sentence him to five years' jail.
A three-man panel led by Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Raus Sharif substituted the jail term with an order which bound him over for good behaviour for five years.
If Noor Afizal breached the order, his bailor would have to pay RM25,000.
Raus, in his decision, agreed with counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, who represented Noor Afizal, that public interest would not be served if his client was given a custodial sentence when he had a bright future.
Hisyam said that Noor Afizal was 18 years old when the offence was committed.
The Sessions Court in Malacca bound over Noor Afizal for good behaviour on a RM25,000 bond for five years after he pleaded guilty to raping the girl at a hotel in Ayer Keroh, Malacca on June 5, 2009.
The Sessions Court, on July 5 last year, in binding him over, considered several factors, including that there was a consensual sexual relationship between him and the girl.
The public prosecutor successfully appealed to the High Court on Sept 20 last year and obtained a five-year jail term.
Noor Afizal, now 21, represented Negri Sembilan between 2004-2010 and at the same time he represented Malaysia in the National Youth Category for five years between 2004-2008.
He is expected to represent Kedah in several upcoming tournaments.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Nadia Hanim Mohd Tajuddin appeared for the prosecution.

".. public interest would not be served if his client was given a custodial sentence when he had a bright future " - Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Raus Sharif

This must be the first of its kind -- letting an alleged rapist who happens to be a national bowler, go without a custodial sentence because, well, his future is bright.

That doesn't seem right, does it?

Someone despaired in Facebook :"Something's wrong with our judicial system".

I disagree. There's  nothing wrong with our judicial system. The law is there. the punishment is provided for under the criminal procedure code.

But the judges decide. And in this case, it is their decision to allow Noor Afizal Azizan's appeal against the High Court decision to sentence him to five years jail
Raus who is Court of Appeal president led the three-man panel in ruling that the jail term be substituted with a bound over for good behaviour for five years.

Read the report HERE.

The social media is raging over this.

I'm remembering the case of a foreigner who was found not guilty for speeding on the wrong side of the KL-Seremban highway. The judge accepted the grounds for his mad driving - a "sleep walking" disorder. Two or three people were killed by his crazed driving.

Sometimes, you wonder .....


pilocarpine said...

There are times we hail court decisions and there are times we find them bizarre. But if we ignore the incredible disparities in some court decisions, it is only at our own peril.

HOSLAN Hussein gets one year in jail for inaccurately chucking (he missed) his slippers at a judge. Noor Afizal Azizan gets a fine and zero jail time for raping a 13-year-old girl.

It boggles the mind. Hoslan’s sentence, in my view, was very harsh and over the top.

But even if one were to believe that the sanctity of the courts is so fragile that a punitively deterrent punishment is required for the flinging of footwear, it is impossible to ignore the incongruous disparity in the punishments meted out to these two men for crimes of such vastly different seriousness.

Much has been said about the judge’s unbelievable comment when sentencing Noor Afizal. Apparently being a national bowler with a bright future is enough to let you escape jail time for rape.

Actually, what is this “bright future” the judge is thinking about? The man is a child rapist; he confessed to it. He should not be allowed to represent the country in anything at all.

And in case you think there are mitigating issues in this case, namely that the sexual act was supposedly consensual, allow me to argue otherwise.

In this case, the girl was under the age of consent. This means the crime committed is statutory rape. The issue of consent does not even arise in such cases.

The reason for this is because we as a society have long ago determined that the young girls of our community deserve protection.

It does not matter in the slightest that children mature at different rates; what matters is that in general, this society believes that girls under the age of 16 are not yet ready to make decisions regarding their own sexual activity.

There are mental, psychological and also physiological elements to this need for protection.

The sexual act by itself could have implications for a child’s well-being, but a child from our society would surely be traumatised in the event that she got pregnant and had to face either childbirth or abortion.

Furthermore in immature bodies, the experience can also be seriously harmful physically.

I use the term “a child from our society” because I realise the age of consent will differ from nation to nation and culture to culture.

But in the case of statutory rape, there is no room for comparative anthropology. What matters is what we value for our girls.

I always believe that Malaysians care for our children. We want them to have a sound and safe childhood so that they can go to school and build a strong foundation for their future.

This is why we want to protect them for as long as possible, for it is this safety that helps to establish an environment where they can mature and flourish at a pace which we believe is healthy.

The judge in making his decision could not possibly have been thinking about this bigger picture. For if he had, he would have realised that his judgment was not only about Noor Afizan and the girl he violated, but also about all the girls in this country and our collective concern for them.

He has in effect dealt a blow to one of the few noble values that the people of this country universally accept — that our children should be cared for and be protected.

pilocarpine said...

Double standards in sentencing
Brave New World