Alleged Rape Survivor is a Malaysian
Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) refers to the news report “Alleged rape victim is Malaysian: IGP” (The Sun, 8 October 2002)
Regardless of whether the alleged victim is Malaysian or a Philippine national, the fact remains that she has been possibly raped in detention. This important issue of rape under custody must be dealt with expediently and seriously, and the Malaysian government must take responsibility for this act.
The possible mistake of the girl’s nationality and her being arrested during Ops Nyah, may be due to the fervor and hostility which were exhibited in the recent treatment towards undocumented migrant workers. She was immediately detained for further questioning when unable to provide information or proofs that she was a Malaysian. Considerations about her age and other disposition were not taken into account during that time. In example, perhaps she was unable to answer the questions because she could not speak Malay or English and the questions were asked in that language.
In WAO’s experience, there are many parents who still do no register for their children’s birth certificates or identity cards for various reasons. This ranges from ignorance of procedural matters, literacy problems, misplaced sense of unimportance on such matters etc. The Malaysian government must exercise more caution, awareness and sensitivity in carrying out the harsh laws relating to undocumented migrant workers to avoid such situations in the future.
Women’s Aid Organisation