Child's marriage not registered in Malaysia, can't be nullified, says DPM

Muzliza Mustafa

Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail says while the marriage between an 11-year-old girl and a 41-year-old man, which has caused a firestorm in the country, is considered legal in Islam, it is not so under Malaysian law. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Seth Akmal, July 10, 2018.

THE marriage between an 11-year-old girl and a 41-year-old man in Gua Musang cannot be nullified as it was not registered in Malaysia, said Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

“At the moment, there is no marriage because there is no document,” the women, family and community development minister told reporters after a meeting at the ministry in Putrajaya this afternoon.

Dr Wan Azizah, who is also deputy prime minister, said while the marriage is considered legal in Islam, it is not so under Malaysian law.

She said given that some districts in Kelantan allow those below 16 to wed with the consent of shariah judges, such judges must be discerning and strict when granting consent.

“The judges have power and authority. They must have valid reasons to allow children to be married off at such a young age.”

Last week, Dr Wan Azizah had said her ministry would look into standardised guidelines for the shariah court to screen underage marriage applications.

She had said this was aimed at protecting the welfare of minors, while upholding the sanctity of the shariah court, as well as the native court in Sabah and Sarawak.

“There will always be exceptions to certain things… like customary marriages in Sabah and Sarawak, which we have to take into consideration.

“That is why we want to do (it) at the federal level.”

She had said the guidelines would likely include making medical and psychological tests compulsory for children before they were married off.

“You have to get the child to go for medical checks, get the child to go for psychological checks, among others.

“We must also check if there is an element of sexual grooming present because the bottom line is the interest of the child.”

The man who married the 11-year-old was yesterday fined RM1,800 by the Gua Musang shariah court.

He was charged with solemnising a marriage and committing polygamy without obtaining the court’s permission.

He pleaded guilty to both charges.

Judge Mohd Surbaineey Hussain fined the man, a rubber tapper, RM900 for each charge.

He was charged under Sections 19 and 124 of the Kelantan Islamic Family Law Enactment No.6 (2002), which carries a fine of RM1,000 or two months’ imprisonment. – July 10, 2018.

Sign up or sign in here to comment.


  • Fined for what if it's not an offence.

    Posted 5 years ago by Ashok Pattu · Reply

  • This is NOT a religious issue. This is an issue relating to children of 'tender age' as opposed to an adult and gender justice,dignity and equality. It deals with the morality of Malaysian society. 22 Islamic countries including Pakistan, Banglades and Afghanistan have regulated Islamic religious "triple talaq"
    Why is Malaysia allowing this pedofile to pay a fine and get away with a criminal act. Was the mconsumated?

    Posted 5 years ago by Magnolia Chan · Reply

  • If the marriage was void ab initio then if medical reports show sex had taken place it is STATUTORY RAPE! How would the man feel if his daughter was sold to another 40 year old. Or if he was forced to marry an 80 year old and have sex? This is the most stupid logic, I have heard.

    Posted 5 years ago by Magnolia Chan · Reply

  • I just cannot understand why this issue is so complicated. Just ban all child marriages. I would like to see who are the people that will object to the ban. If they would want to take to the streets to protest the ban, then we will all know who supports pedophilia. DPM seems to be hemming and hawing and beating about the bush. State your stand and introduce the legislation in Parliament. Religions may not specifically ban child marriages but there is no reason for anyone now to support, much less demand it.

    Posted 5 years ago by Lawman will · Reply

  • Some progress is on the way, outlawing such illicit unions. More will follow in due course, in this NewMalaysa. Just keep chipping away, to break down the crumbling wall..

    Posted 5 years ago by MELVILLE JAYATHISSA · Reply