A PAS lawmaker wants caning to be meted out as punishment for out-of-wedlock pregnancies.
Nik Mazian Nik Mohamad (PAS-Pasir Puteh), who noted that caning was not included for zina (illicit sex), said it should be implemented to protect “innocent babies” from unlawful unions.
“Does this mean that it is time for caning to be included under the proposed amendments to Act 355?” Nik Mazian was quoted as saying by The Star.
The lawmaker mooted the idea during question-and-answer session in Parliament yesterday regarding teen pregnancies.
The parliamentarian was referring to his party president Abdul Hadi Awang’s Private Member’s Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355).
Deputy Family and Community Development Minister Azizah Mohd Dun however said she was in no position to respond to Nik Mazian’s suggestion.
Unmarried pregnant teens, she said, would not be discriminated against if they delivered their babies at government hospitals and clinics.
Families would then be given the option to raise the child or place him or her in a foster home.
Act 355 imposes a limit on the maximum punishment that can be meted out by the syariah courts. The current limit is three years’ imprisonment, RM5,000 fine, and six strokes of the cane.
Hadi’s bill seeks to increase this to 30 years’ jail, RM100,000 fine, and 100 strokes of the cane.
The bill is now seventh on the Parliament’s order paper at the current sitting, which will last until April 6.