Child marriage: Wan Azizah to meet govt agencies on Monday

Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail says tomorrow’s meeting is important to protect the rights of the child. (Bernama pic)

TAWAU: Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail says she will discuss with the relevant government departments and agencies tomorrow, the marriage of an 11-year-old girl to a 41-year-old man in Kelantan.

Wan Azizah, who is also women, family and community development minister, said the meeting would involve, among others, the Social Welfare Department (JKM) and the Shariah Court.

“What we want to do is to meet with JKM, the Shariah Court and all the relevant agencies in the best interests of the child.

“This is important. Whatever it is, we have to take note of the matter and make the necessary considerations to protect the rights of the child,” Bernama quoted her as saying after attending the “Majlis Himpunan Merdeka Rakyat” and Tawau parliamentary constituency Hari Raya open house here today.

It was widely reported that rubber tapper Che Abdul Karim Che Abdul Hamid, 41, had taken 11-year-old Masaryu Mat Rashid as his third wife in Gua Musang, Kelantan, last month.

The news went viral on social media last Friday after pictures were shared by the man’s second wife.

Che Karim has defended his action by saying he received blessings from the girl’s parents.

Masaryu’s father, who is just eight years older than his daughter’s “husband” said he knew Che Karim well, as the man often sold scrap rubber to him.

“He has promised me that he would register the marriage with the Islamic Affairs Department in Kelantan when Masaryu turns 16,” said Mat Rashid Rimadsa, a Thai citizen who lives in Gua Musang.

Meanwhile, Wan Azizah, who was on her maiden visit to Sabah since becoming deputy prime minister, said Sabah must develop together with Peninsular Malaysia.

She said the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, comprising PPBM, PKR, DAP and Amanah, had never neglected Sabah.

PH has always questioned Sabah’s development and enquired about the completion of the Pan Borneo Highway, she said at a Hari Raya open house here today.

Wan Azizah said following the victories of PH and Parti Warisan Sabah in the May 9 general election, it was the best time to fulfil all the promises made to the people.

“However, we ask the people to be a little patient because after taking over power we found the financial problem to be more severe than anticipated and it requires a little more time to stabilise the situation,” Bernama quoted her as saying.

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