Man in child marriage row says wives happy to share husband with kid

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

GUA MUSANG: The man at the centre of the public outrage over his marriage to a child is standing firm on his decision, and has threatened to take legal action against those who condemned him.

Rubber tapper Che Abdul Karim Che Abdul Hamid, 41, who married 11-year-old Masaryu Mat Rashid last month, has again defended his action by saying he received blessings from the girl’s parents.

He said he would go ahead to formalise the marriage by applying for a marriage certificate after five years, when his “wife” turns 16, the marital age allowed by Malaysian shariah laws.

“I am sad of the assumptions and wild accusations thrown at me in social media for taking a third wife,” he told Bernama.

“I will consider taking legal action to stop the defamation against me through wild and inaccurate claims,” he said when met at his home in Gua Musang.

He said his two other wives were also accepting of the young girl to be their “madu” (one who shares a husband).

A photograph of the marriage ceremony, posted online, sparked outrage among Malaysians on social media, renewing a debate on underage marriage.

But 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, the Kelantan Islamic Affairs Department said it had not received any complaints about the marriage but promised to conduct an investigation to see if it violated state Islamic laws.

‘I’m just 11 and you’re 41, but I’ll wait for you’