A labourer was sentenced to 13 years in jail and seven strokes of the cane at the Sessions Court here on Friday (Sept 13) for raping an Indonesian cleaner late last year.
Sessions Court judge Noradura Hamzah passed the sentence on Balu Narayanan, 36, after the defence failed to raise reasonable doubt against the prosecution’s case.
Balu, an Indian national, was charged under Section 376 (1) of the Penal Code, which carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years and whipping upon conviction.
Judge Noradura said that the court had taken into account the seriousness of the offence and its impact on both the victim and society at large.
“Malaysia has always welcomed foreign nationals to its shores, be it as casual visitors or to work.
“But this does not mean that foreign nationals are allowed to do what they want in this country, especially to the extent of going against the laws of this country.
“An appropriate sentence has to be meted out to send a message to all, especially foreign nationals, that sexual crimes against women in this country will not be tolerated,” she said.
She added that the court also had to take into account the life-long trauma that the victim would have to endure in passing out a sentence.
Judge Noradura ordered the prison sentence of the accused to start on Friday.
Earlier, lawyer Razman Sahat, who was representing Balu, had asked for a shorter prison sentence, arguing that as a foreign national, his stay in a Malaysian prison would only add to the financial burden of the taxpayers.
“A minimal jail term will allow for a faster deportation to India,” said Razman.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Nur Farah Adilah Noordin, however, argued that the court should take into account the impact of the crime on both the victim and Malaysia’s image in the global community.
“I ask for a fair sentence to be given, taking into account the seriousness of the crime.
“The victim went to the accused’s house to work, and the accused had taken advantage of that.
“She (the victim) is traumatised by the crime,” said DPP Nur Farah.
She added that the sentence passed should send out a powerful message against sexual crimes to ensure that the safety of women and children in the country was guaranteed.
According to the charge sheet, Balu was said to have committed the crime at about 11am on Dec 16,2018 at an address in Jalan Taman Sri Sentosa in Brickfields.
He was arrested on Dec 20,2018, after the 43-year-old cleaner made a police report.
The trial started on Aug 14,2019, with 10 prosecution witnesses and one from defence.