Cops: No criminal element in Kelantan child marriage

Che Abdul Karim (right), seen here during his ‘nikah’ (marriage) ceremony with an 11-year-old girl. (Facebook pic)

KOTA BHARU: Kelantan police have ruled out any criminal element in the marriage of an 11-year-old girl to a 41-year-old man.

State deputy police chief Din Ahmad said the initial investigation revealed that there was no element of threats or coercion on the child to marry the man.

“The investigation into the case was launched after we received a police report lodged by the 34-year-old wife of the man at the Gua Musang District Police headquarters yesterday.

“However, the case has been handed over to the Kelantan Islamic Religious Affairs Department (JAHEAIK) and it is learned that the case is being investigated under the Islamic Family Law Enactment 2002 for marrying an underage girl,” Bernama quoted him as saying today.

Din said police did not arrest the man, who is a scrap rubber dealer, as the marriage was agreed upon by both parties.

Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has said she would be discussing the issue with the relevant government departments and agencies tomorrow.

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.

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

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

Che Karim has defended his action, saying he received the blessings of 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.