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Fri May 13, 2022, 01:04 PM

Teen murder charge shows 'gaps' in Malaysia's treatment of girls

(a lengthy, disturbing, important read and video at link)


Teen murder charge shows ‘gaps’ in Malaysia’s treatment of girls

Experts say the handling of the 15-year-old’s case has failed to adequately recognise her as a child and rape victim.

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Police in Malaysia have charged a 15-year-old girl with murder after she was found with her dead baby shortly after giving birth. The girl says the pregnancy was the result of rape [File: Fazry Ismail/EPA]
By Emily Ding
Published On 11 May 202211 May 2022

In February, a 15-year-old girl was charged with killing her newborn after giving birth alone in a house in the eastern Malaysian state of Terengganu. The baby was found to have injuries on its body, including what looked to be a stab wound. When the police arrested the girl, she told them she had been raped by a man in his twenties. A week later, she was charged with murder. The intimately harrowing nature of the case shocked many in Malaysia and once again brought public attention to the country’s high rate of teen pregnancies and related issues – including restrictive reproductive laws, statutory rape and child marriage. Many experts were concerned about the handling of the teenager’s case.“I see the gaps in the system, the need to exercise a punitive approach with little regard for the best interest of the child,” Hartini Zainudin, a child rights activist, told Al Jazeera. “Nothing is child-centred.”

Infanticide and baby abandonment are not uncommon in Malaysia – a multi-ethnic and largely conservative country, where 61 percent of the population is Muslim. Over the past five years, the Ministry of Health has recorded 41,083 pregnancies among teenagers.The Ministry of Women, Family, and Community Development had also previously reported that about 830 pregnant teenagers receive services at government health facilities every month. Such circumstances led to more than 1,000 cases of baby abandonment and infanticide between 2010 and May 2019, the ministry also previously reported.


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Young women in Malaysia are often pressured to toe the line in a conservative and patriarchal culture, where sex education is also lacking. Abortion on the grounds of rape, or even incest, is also banned unless a doctor deems that the pregnancy is a danger to the mother’s physical or mental health. If their daughter becomes pregnant, some parents see marriage as the best way to avoid family shame, even if she is just a child and even though sex with a minor is considered statutory rape. “We handle a lot of cases where a child gets raped and is then forced into marriage. Culturally, it is seen as a solution. But it just further traumatises the survivor because she is now stuck with the perpetrator for a lifetime,” Alyssa Wan Azhar said. According to UNICEF, there were 14,999 cases of child marriage in Malaysia between 2007 and 2017 across all communities, with 10,000 of them involving Muslims. In 2018, 1,856 children – 1,542 of them Muslim – were married. The report defined child marriage as where at least one of the parties was under 18.


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However, the alleged perpetrator, who has been identified by police and asked to turn himself in to assist investigations, remains at large.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/5/11/teen-murder-charge-shows-gaps-in-malaysias-treatment-of-girls

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Reply Teen murder charge shows 'gaps' in Malaysia's treatment of girls (Original post)
niyad May 13 OP
ismnotwasm May 13 #1
niyad May 13 #2

Response to niyad (Original post)

Fri May 13, 2022, 01:32 PM

1. Gee, maybe this is the template for the US

I loath patriarchy. Patriarchy plus colonialism is why the world is as fucked up as it is.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #1)

Fri May 13, 2022, 01:35 PM

2. Exactly

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