Tuesday, September 22

‘Sarawak has own SOP on underage marriage’


KUCHING: Sarawak has its own standard operating procedure (SOP) in handling underage marriage, said Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Islamic Affairs and Kuching North City Commission) Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi.

“We have SOP in managing underage marriage. So far, there is no issue regarding this in Sarawak,” he said when contacted yesterday.

He was asked to comment on why Sarawak was not increasing the legal marriage age of Muslims from 16 to 18 years.

On Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the draft of the National Strategic Plan to tackle the problem of underage marriages was at the final stage.

She said Islamic family laws on marriage come under the jurisdiction of the states by Schedule 9, Part 2 — States List of the Federal Constitution. Selangor had already amended an enactment to raise the age to 18 while the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (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 Muslim girls in the Federal Territories to 18.

Other states that have agreed to make the necessary amendments to their respective enactments for the same purpose are Penang, Sabah, Johor, Melaka and Perak, she said in a Bernama report.