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ARKIB : 01/11/2004

Public calling for harsher punishment for rapists

KANGAR Oct 31 - Cut off the ears of rapists and include whipping for offenders above 50 years old.

These were among the suggestions submitted to the Parliamentary Select Committee set up to study amendments to the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code which had conducted public hearings in several states.

There were also people who called on the government to apply hudud law against rapists, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Radzi Sheikh Ahmad.

He said an individual in Sarawak wanted the ears of rapists cut off as a lesson to warn others against committing the same crime while some others called for compensation to be provided to rape victims.

"Some also wanted rapists over 50 years to be whipped as well since some escape whipping if they are above 50," he told reporters after Tarawih prayers at Wang Bintong mosque near here Saturday night.

The seven-member Select Committee, chaired by Radzi, began conducting hearings at the start of Ramadan to gather the views of the public and non-governmental organisations.

He said all the suggestions would be compiled and presented to Parliament in July next year for debate.

On Home Affairs Minister Datuk Azmi Khalid's proposal that a special court be set up to hear cases involving illegal immigrants, Radzi said Azmi should forward a working paper on the matter to the government.

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