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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Child marriage: We need water tight case, says Wan Azizah

The Deputy Prime Minister says the AG’s Chambers is heading the probe to use the outcome as a test case.
DEWAN RAKYAT
KUALA LUMPUR: A thorough investigation is being carried out into the marriage of a 41-year-old Kelantan man to an 11-year-old girl to use the outcome as a test case, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the investigation would look into all the angles.
Wan Azizah, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, said the Attorney-General’s Chambers was heading the probe.
“We want to probe from all angles and have a water tight case,” she said when winding up the debate on her ministry.
The marriage of rubber tapper Che Abdul Karim Che Abdul Hamid to Masaryu Mat Rashid stirred a national controversy recently, with the girl’s parents giving their blessing to the union despite condemnation by human rights groups.
Karim said he would go ahead to formalise the marriage by applying for a marriage certificate after five years, when his “bride” turns 16, the minimum legal age for a female to marry under Malaysian Islamic laws.
Wan Azizah said the girl had undergone a medical test but declined to reveal the results.
On amending the law to raise the minimum age of marriage, she said there were several technicalities that needed to be looked into as the matter also involved the Shariah courts.
She added that discussions needed to be held with the Council of Rulers to coordinate the minimum marriage age in the various states.
Wan Azizah also said her ministry was proposing to set up a bi-partisan committee to establish a children’s commission.
However, there were no plans to abolish the special court set up last year to deal with sexual crimes against children, she said. -FMT

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