A 15-year-old Malaysian girl was reportedly raped by more than 30 men in an abandoned house in a Malaysian province.
"What we know is that more than 30 people are allegedly involved in the case, and we will not rest until everyone is rounded up," District OCPD Assistant Commissioner of Police Azham Othman told The Star.
The rape that occurred on May 20 continues to make headlines across global media. Reports cited the Malaysian teen met with a female friend in Ketereh in Kelantan. Her friend then asked a male friend to give them a ride from Kuala Krai to Ketereh, which was 30 km ride.
The male friend brought the two girls to an empty house where the heinous crime took place, according to the police. Before the two teen could escape the house, at least 40 men arrived and took both of the girls in separate rooms and took turns in raping the 15-year-old teen. At the time of the investigation, it was still unknown whether the female friend suffered the same cruelty.
The raped teen fainted after the incident suffering the cruetly over a dozen times. She was able to wake up the next day with severe vaginal pain. Ashamed and scared of what happened to her, the teen victim stayed at her boyfriend's relative until May 24 when she finally decided to spoke about the crime.
"When she returned home, she was brought to the Kuala Krai hospital as her private parts were still bleeding," the investigators said. Her father then filed a police report on May 24.
The 15-year-old girl also suffered pains due to anal rape, the police noted.
"We are expected to wrap up the case in due time as the suspects between the ages of 20 and 30 came from the same kampung. We also cannot exclude the possibility that the teenager was also sodomised. And police have reasons to believe that almost all the suspects were high on drugs when they allegedly committed the crime," Othman said during a press conference on May 28.
On May 29, police were able to take into custody of the 13 suspects, including the victim's 17-year-old female friend.
The suspects were aged between 20 and 35, related to each other, including a father and his two sons, and live from the same village in Ketereh, the police said.
"The suspects we have remanded all had blood ties with each other including a 38-year-old father and his two sons. We are investigating the case carefully and will ensure all those will be brought to justice," State CID Chief Assistant Commissioner Lai Yong Heng said
The victim's boyfriend was forced to watch and kept count on the number of times the girl was raped, further investigation revealed.
As for the 17-year-old female friend of the victim, she was taken into custody for not reporting the accident over to the police. But after being arrested, the female friend told police that she was also raped on May 20.
Amphetamine abuse was said to have provoked the suspects to commit the appalling crime.
"We believe this is connected with the use of pil kuda among drug addicts and rampant cross-border drug trafficking between Malaysia and Thailand," Othman said.
The police also expressed agitation that the neighborhood where the gang rape happened showed no concern.
"It is very disturbing to me that no one in the kampung was even suspicious when the closest neighbour was a mere 20m away. This incident could have been avoided if people in the area had reported to us that the wooden house was a drug haunt in the first place... We could have taken action to address the problem," Azham said.
But the neighbors argued they have repeatedly called the attention of the house owner to demolish the house as it had been abandoned for more than 5 years and suspicious activities were already happening. The house owner resided within 20 km from the abandoned house.
"They would rev their motorcycle engines during weekends and were always noisy until the wee hours of the morning. I was unaware of the alleged rape case until policemen showed up there. On the day of the incident, I only arrived home from my restaurant nearby at 11pm," neighbor Rogayah Abdullah told The Star.
Meanwhile, Malaysians were appalled by the crime taking their reactions to social media to call for the Malaysian government to impose stricter laws on rape.
"The law is too lenient on rapists!" Christine, a Facebook user, posted on The Star Online's page.
"Drug addicts should receive more severe punishment rather than just rehabilitation. After rehab, many continue to become addicts. If the punishment is severe enough, it can possibly help deter others from becoming addicts," netizen Redza Udeng Fahlawi posted.
"Animals have better common sense than these men. These guys should be hanged," netizen Kulen noted.
"Our government should seriously consider maximising the law for rape cases to include the death penalty," netizen Ah Dong wrote.
"Rapists should get 50 strokes of the rotan and be sentenced to death. Malaysian law should act this way!" netizen Jr. Elf wrote.
On May 30, the victim's family went into hiding to avoid publicity, State Welfare Department Deputy Director Norazman Ab Manaf told media Friday. "We sent our counselling officers to their home in Kuala Krai. My officers managed to get the father on the phone but they were told he had moved in with a relative. They want to be left alone," Norazman said.