10th June, 2015
We refer to the news item carried by the Malaysiakini news portal dated 10.6.2015. It was reported that the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, YB Nancy Shukri had in her parliamentary written reply, confirmed the retention of the exception under Section 375 of the Penal Code, relating to marital rape
This effectively means that sexual intercourse between a husband and wife without her consent, is not considered rape in this country.
Malaysia’s position on marital rape is in stark contrast to 52 other nations, including Turkey, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the United States of America which have legislated to make marital rape an offence (See UN Report Annexure 4: “The 2011 Progress of the World’s Women: In Pursuit of Justice Report”).
The said 2011 Report also made reference to the authority of Meera Dhungana on behalf of FWLD v HMG. In that case, the Nepalese Supreme Court had the occasion to hear a case brought by the Forum for Women, Law and Development (FWLD). It was ground-breaking for having invalidated the provision of the criminal code that exempted husbands from being charged with the rape of their wives. The court in rejecting the Government’s argument that outlawing marital rape would offend Hindu beliefs, also ended the conflict between the country’s Muluki Ain civil code, based on Hindu religious principles, and the 1990 Constitution, which pledges to end all forms of gender discrimination. The Nepalese Supreme Court stated most succinctly the essence of rape and why it should be criminalised:
Goh Siu Lin