Sabah Mufti Voices Against 18 As Minimum Age For Marriage As 'Children Are Prone To Sex'
Sabah Mufti Bungsu @ Aziz Jaafar has voiced his disagreement with Putrajaya's proposal to setting the minimum age of marriage at 18
In fact, he wants children should be allowed to marry early in accordance with Islamic law, which sets 14 for girls and 16 for boys as the minimum age for marriage.
According to the Sabah Mufti, early marriage should be allowed because "children are now very mature and are prone to sex earlier"
"Why is it permissible to get married early, because the children are now very mature and are prone to sex earlier. Hence, it is best they are controlled and allowed to get married early," he was quoted saying in a WhatsApp message by NSTP earlier today.
Mufti Jaafar added that the child marriages "are valid as long as they follow proper procedures and obtain the required permission" from the court.
He was commenting on Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail's statement on Friday, stating Selangor's move to raise the minimum age for marriage to 18 should be emulated by other states
In her statement, Dr Wan Azizah, who is also the Minister of Women, Family, and Community Development, shared that the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) and her ministry will prepare a paper to raise the marriage age for Muslims.
She said that chaired a meeting on 13 September to "discuss this issue with all the relevant stakeholders", adding that the paper will be presented to the Mesyuarat Menteri Besar dan Ketua Menteri (Meeting of Menteris Besar and Chief Ministers) to garner support from the states to raise the legal minimum age.
Sabah's Laws and Native Affairs Minister Aidi Mokhtar, too, echoed the Sabah Mufti's sentiment saying getting married at the age of 16 shouldn't be a problem as the children would have reached puberty
He said while Sabah government had no objections to setting 18 as the minimum age of marriage, there should be some leniency for those under 18 wishing to get married.
"In fact, at the age of 16 or 18, there is no problem to get married as they have reached puberty," the minister was quoted as saying by NST Online.
Meanwhile, a report by World Bank together with the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) has found that child marriage will cost developing countries trillions of dollars by 2030
In contrast, ending child marriage would:
Would have a large positive effect on the educational attainment of girls and their children and increase women's expected earnings and household welfare.
Lead to substantial reductions in population growth over time.
Reduce rates of under-five mortality and delayed physical development due to a lack of appropriate nutrition.
In the last 10 years in Malaysia, about 15,000 child marriages have been recorded, with Sarawak holding the highest number of cases
The statistics, which revealed that 10,000 of the underage marriages were Muslim while 4,999 couples were non-Muslim, were based on recent findings by the Ministry of Women, Family, and Community Development between 2007-2017.