Outrage after Malaysian man marries 11-year-old Thai girl

2018-07-01 14:31

The marriage of a Malaysian man with an 11-year-old Thai girl has sparked outrage in the Muslim majority country with one activist on Sunday labelling the groom a "child predator".

Malaysian Muslims below the age of 16 are allowed to marry if they obtain the permission of a religious court.

But the country's women and families ministry said there was no record of religious authorities approving the union, which took place last month across the border in Thailand's largely Muslim far south.

"Our officers have gone to the house and met the girl's mother. We are waiting for more reports before deciding on the next course of action," deputy prime minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail was quoted as saying by the Sunday Star newspaper.

The 41-year-old husband could be jailed for six months if he married without permission.

Malaysian activists have called for law reform to end child marriage, which they said was widespread among the country's Muslim population.

Some 16 000 Malaysian girls below the age of 15 are already married, advocates claim.

"Marrying an 11-year-old girl is like the behaviour of a child predator or paedophile," said child activist Syed Azmi Alhabshi.

Alhabshi said the man was a prosperous trader and already married to two women while the girl's parents were impoverished rubber farmers.

Muslim men are allowed to take up to four wives in Malaysia.

The United Nations children's agency Unicef said it was "outraged" by the incident.

"It is shocking and unacceptable. Unicef... calls on the government to make good its manifesto promise to ban child marriage," said the agency's Malaysia representative Marianne Clark-Hattingh.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    malaysia

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Share your 67 minutes with animals in need this Mandela Day

With an abundance of activities to get involved in, why not lend a hand towards animals in need this Mandela day? Here are some ideas of how you can spend your 67 minutes...

 

Paws

Kevin Anderson’s dog is winning at Instagram!
Kim Kardashian-West buys fake testicles to boost her dog’s self-esteem
10 tips on exercising your dog
Our top picks for doggo post of the week
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.