Lenient sentence for sex with underage girl Ng Siew Lai: Wrong information will lead to unhealthy trends Press statement by Gerakan Wanita Deputy Chief Datuk Ng Siew Lai

In referring to the cases on which both national bowler Noor Afizal and electrician Chuah Guan Jiu were handed down a lenient judgment and escaped jail sentence after they were found guilty of having sex with underage girls, Gerakan Wanita Deputy Chief Datuk Ng Siew Lai is hugely displeased with the verdict. Datuk Ng pointed out that the judgment of such by the court is undermining the child protection and feminist movement that have been advocated in the country all this while, which is regrettable.

Ng Siew Lai who is also Penang Gerakan Wanita Chief pointed out that the court is sending out a wrong message that may lead to wrong interpretation by the people on the punitive laws meant for the crime of having sex with underage girls. They might think that if they commit the same crime in the future, they may presuppose the two cases above as a premise and plead to the court in order to escape the jail sentence, this will indirectly lead to the unhealthy trends of engaging sexual acts with underage girls. The situation is worrisome for parents who have a daughter that is reaching adolescence.

Datuk Ng said: “while the judges were handing down the judgment, they only took into consideration the “bright future” of the accused, but overlooked the plight of the victims and their families. The victims will have to bear the painful experience forever in the rest of their lives, while their families also will have to stand the stigma from the society and it is unfair to them. The victims are underage girls, they are mentally and intelligently immature, therefore in such cases there are more or less some elements of trickery were included, the judges should hand down a fair and impartial judgment.”

Ng also said that the judgment handed down on these two cases are undermining the child protection and women’s rights movement, causing the people to have lost confidence towards the judiciary system. Our country has always been advocating these movements, however aren’t we proved to be self-contradicting with the judgment handed down on these two cases?

Datuk Ng Siew Lai pointed out that the court should uphold the fundamental principle of “legal equality” whenever it is handing out a judgment, whoever commits the crime shall bear for his own mistakes, instead of taking into consideration the background or future of the accused, only by then there will be fair and justice in handing down judgment.

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