Demand Politician Apologize for Saying Women Should Marry Their Rapists

Target: Datuk Shabudin Yahaya, Malaysian Member of Parliament (MP)

Goal: Apologize for offensive remarks regarding rape and child marriage.

While addressing a political opponent regarding a proposed bill to help end child sexual abuse, a Malaysian Member of Parliament stated that there was no issue with women marrying their rapists and that children as young as nine are both “mentally and spiritually” ready for marriage. The politician, Datuk Shabudin Yahaya, was later interviewed by a Malaysian newspaper where he further stated that women who marry their rapists would “have a husband at least, and this could serve as a remedy for growing social problems.”

Malaysia has a bleak record on child sexual abuse and sexual violence against women. Sexual assault is so prevalent that ‘women-only’ buses exist to protect women against the threat of harassment and rape. Despite these measures, there is an average of eight reported rape cases daily in Malaysia, yet it is estimated that eight out of 10 rape cases go unreported. Many of these attacks involve underage girls.

In a political climate that has pushed for more strict and conservative interpretations of Islamic law, Shabudin’s statements could put many young girls and women at risk. His implicit suggestion that women, even girls as young as nine, should marry their attackers is both offensive and demeaning. Sign this petition to demand that this member of parliament apologize for his harmful remarks or step down from his role as a representative.


Dear Mr. Shabudin Yahaya,

In your statements before the Malaysian parliament and to the press, you indicated that it was beneficial for women to marry their rapists and that nine-year-old girls are both “mentally and spiritually” fit for marriage. These outrageous statements have rightfully ignited outrage among your political peers and the Malaysian people.

While you may cite religious precedent for your remarks, you have a responsibility to protect all of the people you represent, including women and girls. Your statements are wildly offensive and harmful to the many victims of rape and sexual assault in Malaysia, including very young children. I demand that you make a formal apology or resign from your position within Barisan Nasional and Umno.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Anuarsalleh

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  1. Interesting how easily people can recommend for others what they would not wish for themselves…
    Any act of self-serving, greedy violence against the innocent is UNLAWFUL in the first place, whether the victim be a woman, a child, an animal or the environment, so all the rest of the debate is nonsense.
    Malaysia, get leaders who actually have grey matter, that is, a brain…support leaders who have the ability to think wisely and in wholesome, healthy ways, then your population will feel more cared for…
    The Almighty should let this man experience assault and he be forced to marry his assailant, in order that he might learn a lesson…

  2. These extremely disturbing beliefs held by this MP Yahaya are probably unfortunately held by many men in Malaysia, and undoubtedly contribute to the serious ongoing problems the country has with rape and pedophilia.
    Women need to get out from under the oppression of archaic religions and traditions. All 3 Abrahamic religions – Islam, Judaism and Christianity, as well as most other religions on the planet, teach the horrendous belief in the AUTHORITY of men over women. That gives men the right to basically do what they want with women, and women, as ordered by their god, are to shut up and obey.
    If women learn that this is all garbage, and that they own themselves and are the only ones who should have authority over their lives, this will help change things. It’s hugely important that men learn these things as well.

    • Actually, re: Christianity, scholars say a woman is not different to a man in God’s eyes in any way, male and female are born equal. Nowhere does God say that man is above woman and that man has authority over ALL WOMEN. The “authority” part is confined to “marriage” only and there the authority not a “weapon to be used” but instead “service”, understanding, loving, providing, to the point of being willing to die for the partner. And apparently the Koran nowhere advocates the oppression of women…someone correct me if I’m wrong. “G-d is not viewed as exclusively male or masculine”, Jusaism. Not saying any of this to be contentious or to “push religion”, am just referencing a small part, just wonder how much religious “oppression” is the result of convenient editing and/or human misinterpretation and mistranslation.

      • I appreciate what you’re trying to say, which I think is basically that the religious scriptures might not actually teach oppression of women, but the interpretation or manipulation of them does.
        If you do some study of the scriptures themselves, I think you will find that although they can be interpreted in various ways, it is the scriptures themselves that teach it.
        Christianity – Scholars may say what you said above, but the Apostle Paul says different. He blames the woman for original sin – the woman was in the transgression – and because of this the woman is not to teach or have authority over the man. AS well, in the Old Testament, men were allowed to have sex with their female slaves, and rapists’ punishment was to marry their victims.
        Judaism – Their Torah and Talmud are saturated with the teaching of male authority over women, men’s superiority, and women’s filthiness and stupidity.
        Islam – The Quran is also saturated with misogynistic teachings, including orders to hit their wives if they fear highmindedness from them.
        There is so much more. And it’s not pretty. Don’t just believe me, check it out yourself.

        • I referenced just a small part, in relation to a certain, fundamental point. Though I know what you’re saying, what I meant was this, in light of the petition’s theme (‘nother way of saying it): it may not be “women, as ordered by their GOD, to shut up and obey”, as you say, it may be men ordering women to shut up and obey, God having nothing to do with it.
          (“Paul”, another after-the-fact “interpretation” of something, within a certain cultural context, the main event having passed…all cultural prejudices in place. The Old Testament culture was wild as far as violence, shortsightedness and rampant discrimination goes, what does that say about the human race, but we don’t even have to look that far back to see “oppression” – not so long ago that women had to fight for “the right to vote”, and this secular…)
          THANKS for bringing up Surah 4:34, this puts a whole new twist on everything…

          • Thank you for clarifying your point. I see what you mean.
            And with Paul, I’m sure as you say there was an interpretation based on cultural prejudices.
            I guess I think that the oppression of women exists because of (most) religions and that religions are the root cause of misogynistic thinking.
            Surah 4:34 is quite the passage. And I think if people were to really study the 3 Abrahamic scriptures – Bible, Talmud and Quran – in light of this subject, it would be a worthy study and a real eye-opener.

  3. When she says no, it doesn’t mean yes. When she says stop, it doesn’t mean go. Listen to what a woman says and respect what she wants. A true man does not force himself on a woman. He waits for a woman to come to him.

  4. Malaysia and surrounding countries have shrines, shrines everywhere. People practicing fervently – what is this all about? Do these religions not teach respect to all live? And that would include females too!

  5. Neville Bruce says:

    Even if this flagrant cover-up of illegal trauma, and further dis-empowerment of females and choice is allowed, what happens when the rapist is a close family member, or already married (if they’re not polygamous), or male children?

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