Malaysian Politician, Mohamed Hanipa bin Maidin, announced in Parliament last month there were no plans to make marital rape a crime in Malaysia.
Currently, under section 375A of the Penal Code, Malaysian law does recognise the offence of a “husband causing hurt in order to have sexual intercourse.” The legislation, however, is inadequate, failing to extend to circumstances of coercion, abuse of authority, and intoxication, just to name a few.
The punishment for this offense is a maximum of five years, compared to a 20-year maximum for rape.
The legislation itself fails to recognise rape as the absence of consent and provides a loop-hole for husbands in Section 375A which states: “Rape Exemption: Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife by a marriage which is valid under any written law for the time being in force, or is recognized in Malaysia as valid, is not rape.”
“When [rape] involves a spouse, there is inherent doubt and in the principle of criminal cases, any benefit of the doubt must be given to the accused [husband],” Hanipa said.
According to The Malaysian Insight, Hanipa cited Sir Matthew Hale, an English barrister who once wrote that “a husband cannot be guilty of a rape committed by himself upon his lawful wife, for by their mutual consent and contract the wife hath given up herself in this kind unto her husband, which she cannot retract.”
In his closing statements, Hanipa claimed that the term “rape” is an idea created by the West and that the Quran has already stipulated how husbands are suppose to treat their wives.
“Islam has provided guidance on this matter,” he said. And what might that guidance be? As Robert Spencer points out, it’s not the kind of guidance Hanipa might have you believe.
“Men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because Allah has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them.” Quran 4:34