Child marriages not common – minister

Aidi (third left) presenting a certificate to agencies that were involved in the Hari Raya celebration.

KOTA KINABALU: Child marriages are not common and need not be made into huge issues.

Nevertheless, they are still serious and need to be handled efficiently, said Laws and Native Affairs Minister Datuk Aidi Mokhtar.

He said a thorough investigation was ongoing to ensure the relevant laws were amended and penalties to be imposed on such issues.

He said if deemed necessary, his ministry would submit a proposal to the government for a more drastic action to be taken against those involved in child marriages.

Nevertheless, it is important to note that amendment to the law does not happen overnight and requires some time before it is realized.

He said the focus of the investigation included the Syarak and available law enactments.

He added that in Malaysia, those who are 15 years old are considered not fully matured.

“And if parents allow their child to be married at 11 years old, I think that is not right in terms of humanity,” he said.

He said they were aware of the matter and he believed the Syariah court judge would not simply provide his approval to child marriages.

He said this at a Hari Raya celebration with Sabah Islamic Agencies at Wisma Muis, yesterday.

At the same time, he also welcomed offers from any agencies who are keen on running Islamic marriage courses.

He said the marriage courses were presently carried out by one agency and cited that there should be more agencies carrying them out.
He said those who were keen, could apply to Majlis Ugama Islam Sabah (Muis).

“This will enable couples to make their choices in terms of pricing,” he said.

Also present were Sabah Mufti Datuk Bungsu @ Aziz Jaafar, Muis chairman Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Hasbullah Taha, and Sabah Islamic Affairs Department director Yusof Abd Abbas.

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