PETALING JAYA - The couple who are alleged to have severely abused a five-year-old girl should be charged with an offence that draws a harsh penalty under the Penal Code, says the Malaysian Syariah Lawyers Association.
"The society will support the harsher punishment as the father had allegedly abetted the girl's stepmother in committing the offences," said its president Musa Awang.
Senior lawyer Salim Bashir also slammed those who abused their children.
"We will not tolerate child abuse. I believe he will be prosecuted under the Child Act but he should be charged with an offence that carries a more severe penalty," he said.
Salim said child abusers could be charged for causing grievous hurt under the Penal Code.
"It will depend on police investigations," he acknowledged.
The girl is so malnourished she looks more like a three-year-old.
The Star Online readers also want the couple to get harsher penalties.
Cikya Ab Majid suggested a charge for attempted murder over child abuse.
Irene Kong wants the couple to get "100 strokes of rotan each! And life imprisonment! Heavy punishment should be set for this type of child of abuse!"
Vicknes Loganathan mooted a life sentence saying: "These monsters should be locked up for good."
"You thought this happens in torture camps? It's a wonder she even survived this long," said John Richard Stephens who called for a deterrent sentence.
Logeswaran Madhavan said life imprisonment or death sentence would be perfect.
"Heartless, cruel, vile. Not even animals do such a despicable thing."