Friday, January 10, 2003

Dateline: Malaysia

Incest crackdown offers option of death penalty

PUTRAJAYA - Incest that results in death will be punishable by the death sentence under proposed penalties for rapists agreed by the Malaysian Cabinet.

Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim announced at his office on Thursday that incest will carry a prison term of between 15 and 30 years and a minimum 10 strokes of the cane.

The debate over tougher punishment was stoked by an informal campaign by the media following several shocking cases involving young girls abused by their fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers or brothers.

A rape conviction now carries a jail term of between five and 20 years and whipping.
Dr Rais also said that under the proposal, the names of all rape offenders - regardless of whether it involved incest - would be included in the Register of Criminals and Undesirable Persons.