State Govt urged to follow Selangor on minimum age for marriage


KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Umno Wanita has urged the State Government to emulate the move by Selangor which has changed the minimum age for marriage for Muslim men and women from 16 to 18 years old.

The movement’s chief, Datuk Hajah Jainab Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Ahmad Ayid, said they fully supported the move by Selangor and hopes the same can be done in Sabah.

“We in Sabah Umno Wanita shared similar concern as with all women in the country on the underage marriage problem and related issues.

“Underage marriage is also a problem in Sabah, as many of our women groups in the State had also voiced out recently … there were also such cases brought up to the court,” she said in a statement yesterday.

The Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah on Monday consented to the proposal by the Selangor Islamic Religious Council and the Selangor Islamic Religious Department that the minimum age for marriage for Muslim men and women to be changed from 16 to 18 years.

At the second meeting of the First Session of the 14th Selangor State Assembly, Sultan Sharafuddin said he viiewed seriously the cases involving Muslim child marriages at a very young age, especially girls, as he was worried it would affect their future and have an effect on society.

“Underage marriages are not only unhealthy but can also cause other problems … I personally feel that girls need to be allowed to study and follow her dreams, to enjoy her life as she wished to,” said Jainab, who was a former State Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister who together with the women groups in Sabah have been firm in her stand against underage marriages.

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