MALACCA: Most parents are in disbelief that their children were having sex with their classmates or friends, said Malacca's Parents in Education Action Committee chairman Mak Chee Kin.
These youngsters, he said, were well-behaved at home due to their strict parents "but they behave differently outside".
He said parents should be involved in educating their children about statutory rape.
Last week, The Star reported that at least 51% of the rape cases in the past three years involved sex with minors.
Section 375(G) of the Penal Code states that sex with someone below 16 is considered statutory rape (with or without her consent).
"It boils down to parents who must allocate time to monitor their children and friends," he said.
Malacca police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Wira Chuah Ghee Lye said many young offenders did not realise the consequences.
"The stakeholders should work out a mechanism to educate them on statutory rape," he said at the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation's meet the media session yesterday.
Meanwhile, Sisters In Islam (SIS) criticised PAS Islamic cleric Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali for suggesting that marriage was the best solution to the high number of statutory rape cases.
"As a Member of Parliament, it is shocking that he would undermine the severity and emotional trauma experienced by victims of underage rape cases," SIS said in a statement.
"Rape can never be consensual even if an underage girl does not explicitly say no, thus the term 'statutory rape'," it said.
SIS added that marriage in Islam was about love, compassion, mutual respect and responsibility between husband and wife.
Furthermore, SIS said that Malaysia, as a signatory to the Convention of Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women and Child Rights Convention, had an obligation to ensure that underage girls get access to higher education and achieve their potential instead of focusing on marriage as a solution to statutory rape cases, especially if it is a marriage to the very criminal who has destroyed her life.