Last year, national bowling rep Noor Afizal Azizan pleaded guilty to raping a girl at a hotel in Ayer Keroh, Malacca between 12:30am and 5am on 5th June 2009. At the time of incident, he was 18 years old. The girl he raped was only 13 years old. A minor.
But several factors with regards to the incident was taken into consideration, including that there was a consensual sexual relationship between him and the girls, and the public prosecutor managed appeal to the High Court on 20th September 2011 and obtained a five-year jail term.
As it is, a five-year term is already a whole lot less than what some rapists are punished with. Because under the Malaysian law, a man who is said to commit rape can be punished for a term which may extend to 20 years, and shall also be liable to whipping. (References: Sections 375 and 376 of the Penal Code)
However The Court of Appeal yesterday allowed Noor Afizal’s appeal against the High Court decision to sentence him to five years jail. A three-man panel led by Tan Sri Raus Sharif (Court of Appeal president) 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.
Why? Because Raus 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. (Source)
The decision has caused uproar amongst Malaysians, who all disagree with the notion that Noor Afizal is allowed to escape jail term and to walk away (almost) scot-free. As a matter of fact, their cries of disgust and words of retaliation were taken straight to Twitter, under the “BrightFutureRapeOK” hash tag:
Do they not understand the implications this would have on Malaysians? Are they so dense that they’re not aware of what this could do to the morale of the women in our country?
More importantly, is it okay to let a man get away with such a heinous crime just because he’s a Malaysian athlete?