On 28th February, 40-year-old Riduan Masmud was charged with raping a 13-year-old in a parked car. Not only is she underage, Riduan also happens to be a father – of four children, aged between two and 17. He further shocked the nation (after being charged) when he declared that he had married her as a second wife in the midst of the case. Hence, he saw no wrong with having sex with her.
Wait, what? Yes.
Riduan, a restaurant manager defended his action, saying it was a case of “suka sama suka” (mutual consent), adding that it was acceptable under Syariah law. “There are many cases of men marrying underage girls. I do not see why my case should be any different”, he said. As his rape case came up for mention at a Sessions Court yesterday, Riduan told reporters that he had known the girl for about six months and felt he had the right (to marry an underage girl).
It could not be ascertained whether the girl met Riduan while she was at school or whether she had been working for him. She is from a very poor family.
Riduan said he would let his child-wife finish her studies first and “maybe later take up a cosmetic course with my first wife”, adding that she was a make-up artist. His wife also told the press that she had accepted the teenager to be her husband’s second wife and promised to guide her through her studies.
On 7th May, DPP Ahmad Nazmeen Zulkifli told the court he had no objection for the case to be withdrawn after the girl withdrew the rape report against the man 18th April. It is understood that it was the girl’s aunt who lodged the police report after she found out about the “affair”.
All eyes were on the girl who appeared briefly in court. She has a childlike face, wore some make up, and tied up her long hair in a ponytail. Thin and looking under-developed, she was dressed in a T-shirt and jeans. The girl’s father, who was also at the court, said he accepted his daughter’s marriage to Riduan as they liked each other. “It is best for her that they get married. What else can I do?”, he added.
Counsel Loretto J. Padua informed the court that the Syariah marriage certificates had been presented to the investigating officer and confirmed that the two were now married.
Judge Ummu Khatom gave the Attorney-General’s Chambers until 6th June to make a decision on whether to proceed with the case. The court ordered that the man’s RM8,000 bail be extended till 6th June.
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