Court, MB may no longer allow underage marriage in future

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PARIT BUNTAR: The government may remove the powers of the court, menteri besar or chief minister to allow those below the legal age to get married, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mujahid Yusof Rawa.

“We are proposing for such provisions to be abolished, or in other words to ban child marriage and to consider it an offence for anyone to get married before reaching the minimum legal age.

“The ban is not in terms of shariah law, but just in terms of administration,” he told reporters today.

Mujahid said that issue of child marriage was sensitive, as it also involved the customs of some ethnic groups in Sabah and Sarawak.

He said Muslim scholars, legal experts and non-governmental organisations would hold discussions with the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry every month on the issue of child marriage from the Islamic perspective.

“The discussion is also to see how the government can interfere in child marriage for the benefit of the general public,” he said.

The debate on child marriage surfaced following the marriage of a 41-year-old man with an 11-year-old girl in Gua Musang, Kelantan, last June.