The recent rape of a 10 year old child in a school bus was a terrible crime and the young victim and her family may be scarred for life as a result. The perpetrator, if convicted after due process, deserves a heavy prison sentence in retribution for his act.
However, we deplore the violent and rash proposals that are emanating from various quarters in a typical knee-jerk reaction to this very disturbing crime. We are particularly appalled by the suggestion by DAP Chairman Karpal Singh that child rapists be put to death. An immediate practical consequence of such a law is that child rapists will then be encouraged to murder their victims in order to escape detection and avoid the gallows.
It has also never been proven that capital punishment deters serious crimes. In fact, many countries have recorded a decline in serious crime over a period of time following abolition of capital punishment. More than two thirds of the countries of the world have abolished capital punishment and the trend globally is towards abolition.
To extend capital punishment in Malaysia to more crimes instead of moving towards total abolition, is a retrograde step. To make matters worse, capital punishment is final and irreversible; it cannot be remedied if errors are later found in the legal process leading to conviction.
We strongly oppose any move to implement capital punishment for child rapists and hope wiser counsels will prevail in the wake of this terrible crime. Justice must be done, but we must not descend into barbarism.
Fadiah Nadwa Fikri