KUALA LUMPUR: The Dewan Negara today passed the Penal Code (Amendment) Bill 2017, which introduces whipping as mandatory punishment for specified sexual offences and domestic violence.
The Bill was passed about 7.30pm today after getting the support from Senate members.
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Razali Ibrahim said, with the whipping punishment, it would show the seriousness of the government in dealing with such offences.
When the bill becomes law, it extends offences of sexual connection by object as to include any part of the body except the penis.
With the amendment, the court shall have the power to punish the offender who causes hurt to his or her spouse, former spouse, a child, an incapacitated adult or any other member of the family.
Under Clause 2, the bill includes obscene documents as part of the items prohibited for sale under Section 292 of the Code. For this purpose, such documents will include obscene online contents.
Earlier during the debate, Senator Datuk Indera Hoh Khai Mun said the definition of rape needed to be extended to include the male demographic, which was not the case at this juncture.
He said rape victims were not necessarily women, and that women can victimise men as well in some cases.
"At this juncture, the rape definition in our laws does not include the male demographic. This could become a barrier for them to seek justice.
"The rape definition in laws in other countries, such as England, is more comprehensive.
"We need the amendments to be more gender neutral, to ensure the rights of everyone are protected," he said.
To this suggestion, Razali said the matter is currently being studied.