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Shabudin mulls legal action, tells reporters to repent

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Tasek Gelugor MP Shabudin Yahaya is mulling legal action against media agencies and reporters, following reports on his remarks about child marriage and rape.

"I will check everything, if all is ok, I will proceed to sue the newspapers and the reporters concerned, because they must be responsible," Shabudin was recorded as saying in a video posted by Nanyang Siang Pau.

Shabudin also called on the media to repent.

"Repent, don't create fitnah (slander). Listen properly, be a good reporter that is ethical, responsible," he said.

Shabudin was reported as saying in the Dewan Rakyat that marriage between a rapist and his victim could be a cure for social problems.

He also said that girls who reached puberty as young as 12 years old were physically ready for marriage.

Shabudin, however clarified that what he meant by "rape" in his speech, refered to consensual sex with an underaged girl, which under criminal law was classified as statutory rape.

The BN lawmaker had made the remarks during a debate on whether child marriages should be banned.

In his debate, he explained that there were laws that allowed girls under 16 to be wed, with consent from syariah courts.

He also said that statutory rape - that is sexual relations with an underaged individual regardless of consent - was a crime, but that there was no legal provision preventing a victim from marrying her rapist.

But when asked by Pasir Puteh MP Nik Mazian Nik Mohamad on whether he was talking about zina (extra-marital sex) or the coercive crime of rape, Shabudin said regardless, marriage could be a social remedy for such problems.

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