KUALA LUMPUR: The draft of the National Strategic Plan to tackle the problem of underage marriages is at the final stage, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister, said the plan contains programmes of action involving 16 agencies both at the federal and state levels and is expected to tabled to the Cabinet in the form of a memorandum at the end of the year.
“The government has taken several steps to curb underage marriages, through legislative means and identifying the causes of why such marriages are happening.
“Islamic family laws including on marriage come under the jurisdiction of states as provided for by Schedule Nine, Part Two – States List of the Federal Constitution,” she said.
She said this in reply to a question from Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh (PH-Ledang) who wanted an update on the efforts taken by the government to raise the minimum age for marriage for girls from 16 to 18.
Dr Wan Azizah explained that several engagement sessions were held to get the states on board to streamline the minimum age for marriage for girls to 18.
She said Selangor had already amended an enactment to raise the age to 18 while the Malaysian Islamic Development (Jakim) was in the process of drafting the amendments to the Islamic Family Law Act 1984 (Act 303) to raise the minimum marriage age for Muslims girls in the Federal Territories to 18.
Other states that had agreed to make the necessary amendments to their respective enactments for the same purpose were Penang, Sabah, Johor, Melaka and Perak, she added. – Bernama