Incest, despite being generally accepted as a deviation from the norm of conventional sexual behaviour, continues to fill the news with reports of such biological wrong. As a country proud of our strong ethics, this evil crime must be combatted in Malaysia to help present and future victims.
On 28th July 2017, a shocking report by the New Straits Times revealed that a girl was raped by five of her own relatives at various locations in Limbang, Sarawak. The accused were the victim’s own father, grandfather and three other relatives aged between 16 and 72 years old. Consequently, they were charged under S.376B for statutory rape which provides for a maximum of 30 years’ imprisonment and whipping upon conviction. 
Unfortunately, such abhorrent news is merely the tip of the iceberg. According to a report by the Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO), a total of 296 cases of incestual relationships were reported in 2017. Amongst those, 115 of them involved children between the age of 13 to 15, while 8 other cases concerned the youngest age group of 6 years old and below. Children have been the victims of a majority of these reported cases, with 376 culprits being their trusted family members. As grave as the statistics may be, it nevertheless fails to depict the severity of this issue as consensual incest relationships are largely unreported, even when uncovered by another family member, in fear of the humiliation it will bring to the family name. This article intends to shed some light on Malaysia’s thorn in the flesh — incest, by analysing the relevant statutory provisions and suggest steps to effectively combat it.