Despite several initiatives to preserve a child’s innocence crushed under the weight of marriage, reports of child marriage even in 2018 is heart-wrenching.
A reported child marriage in Malaysia on Saturday has baffled the people of the nation.
The minor-11-year old girl is a native of Thailand while the 41-year-old man belongs to the Malaysian Muslim community.
As per local media reports, the man is already married, with two wives and six children aging between 5- 18.
Social media platforms since the forecast of the news, have been flooded with the post by citizens have expressed their anger.
A Twitter post by user @faizalhamssin read “By allowing this man to marry her, we just robbed this girl of her childhood. We must end child marriage. If true, this is grotesque”, followed by thousand other similar tweets.
The news has also shaken the UNICEF- children’s agency of The United Nations. Unicef’s representative in Malaysia, stated, “If true, it is shocking and unacceptable. It is not in the best interest of the child. It is a violation of her rights. Law reform to set the legal age for marriage at 18 without exception should be one of the priorities of the new Parliament.”
The news has been confirmed by the Malaysian government but reported that no courts or regional religious marriage office have been involved in permitting this marriage.
Hence if no written permission has been issued by the sharia court then the marriage stands illegal.
The Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development stated, “The ministry looks seriously upon underage marriage… The ministry wants to discuss and cooperate with religious councils to examine and tighten laws so it can eradicate the issue of underage marriage.”
A special unit has been formed which would examine the issue, comprising members from the state religious councils, government agencies, and activists.
The Malaysian government allows marriage between both the males and females of age 18 and above. However, under special permission by the state’s chief minister, a girl can marry at the age of 16. According to the Islamic doctrine, the legal age limit for marriage of a girl is sixteen, which with further permission by the sharia court can even decrease, allowing earlier marriages.
Though Malaysia has passed a law on sexual offenses against children last year nothing has been done about the child marriage issue.
Earlier this week, a conference “Girls not Brides” was held in Kuala Lumpur to put a full stop on child marriage.
Source : NST
Content : LovePattayaThailand