MCA vice-president Chew Mei Fun has criticised a PAS lawmaker for proposing caning as a punishment for for out-of-wedlock pregnancies.
Chew said the proposal by PAS' Pasir Puteh MP Nik Mazian Nik Mohamad would only encourage baby dumping.
“Such heavy penalties will not deter pregnancies out of wedlock.
“Instead, it will encourage baby-dumping as most unwed mothers would use this way to avoid being caught and penalised. This will be a never-ending cycle of evil.
“Educating teenagers and young adults on abstinence before marriage is a better preventive measure for unplanned pregnancies,” she said in a statement today.
Nik Mazian had suggested the punishment be included as part of the proposed amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, or Act 355.
The proposed amendment seeks to increase the maximum punishment that can be meted out by the syariah courts from three years’ imprisonment, RM5,000 fine and six strokes of the rotan to 30 years’ imprisonment, RM100,000 fine and 100 strokes of the rotan.
Nik Mazian said the harsh punishment was to “protect innocent babies” from unlawful unions.
However, Chew said PAS proposal was doing the opposite, pointing out that the child would grow up stigmatised as being an “illegitimate” one.
She added that the father, too, should bear a fair share of responsibility.
“It is unrealistic for PAS to propose stiffer punishments.
“It is only appropriate to provide a humane solution to address the issue of baby dumping,” she said.- Mkini