Tasek Gelugor MP Shabudin Yahaya has found an unlikely ally over his controversial statement on rape victims in the Dewan Rakyat
The ally is Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim, the Women, Family and Community Development Minister in the BN coalition Government
According to a report in The Star Online, 8 April, Rohani said it was "unfortunate" that Shabudin's remarks were taken out of context
"Being a former Syariah court judge, he has encountered all these scenarios and was relaying his experience of handling such cases. He was not implying that a nine-year-old girl can get married, but rather, he was being detailed in his explanation. He was being so detailed in his explanation to the extent that it got misunderstood," Rohani was quoted saying by The Star Online during a press conference today.
Shifting the blame, Rohani also said that Shabudin does not need to apologise and has a right to sue the media over the reporting
"He stands firm that he did not say anything wrong. He cited the cases as an example, and they were part of his speech. I don't know whether he or anybody else should apologise. That is his speech, I do not want to interfere. In fact, if he wants to take action and sue, he has the right to do so," the English daily quoted the women, family and community development minister as saying.
However, when asked about the matter of child marriages, Rohani said "rape is rape" and those found guilty of the offence should be punished for the crime, reported The Star Online
Previously, Shabudin, who continues to receive widespread condemnation over his remarks, said he is thinking of suing media agencies and reporters. He also wants the media to repent.
In a video posted by Nanyang Siang Pau, Shabudin said:
"I will check everything, if all is ok, I will proceed to sue the newspapers and the reporters concerned, because they must be responsible. Repent, don't create fitnah (slander). Listen properly, be a good reporter that is ethical, responsible."
Meanwhile, a Malaysiakini report reveals that the people of Tasek Gelugor, which is Shabudin Yahaya's constituency, have absolutely no clue about the remarks made by their elected MP
However, when they were informed about the issue and what their elected Member of Parliament had said in the Dewan Rakyat did some of the constituents react, "some rather emotionally", Malaysiakini reported.
While a 50-year-old man claimed Shabudin was not a caring MP, another male constituent wondered what message Shabudin was trying to convey to the youths.
Meanwhile, a 20-something woman was furious when she was told by Malaysiakini about Shabudin's remarks, calling them "utterly senseless".
"He has definitely insulted women, as he focused on the issue of women alone."
She also expressed disgust at Shabudin's remark about some young girls, aged between nine and 12 years old, having bodies akin to an 18-year-old.
What do you think about the woman minister defending Shabudin? You can comment below to share your views with us.