Sabah Takes A Stand Against Child Marriage By Agreeing To Set Minimum Marriage Age At 18

Doing what's right.

Cover image via FMT

Sabah Cabinet has agreed to set the minimum age for marriage at 18 in the state, according to a Bernama report which quoted Jannie Lasimbang, the Sabah Law and Native Affairs Assistant Minister

Jannie said the decision to set minimum marriage age at 18 was taken following the tabling of the proposal on the minimum age limit for marriage by the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry at the last Parliament sitting.

"The federal government sought to amend the Constitution to set the minimum age for marriage at 18. Hence, the law in Sabah will be reviewed to make it in tandem," she told reporters at the presentation of appointment letters to 86 customary chiefs, including native chiefs and village heads in the Sook state constituency, Keningau.

Sabah Law and Native Affairs Assistant Minister Jannie Lasimbang presents an appointment letter to a recipient.

Image via Borneo Bulletin

The Assistant Minister, however, added that the review of the law would involve amending the Native Courts Enactment

"At the ministry's side, this change is not something easy to achieve, that is why we want the Native Court and all the customary leaders to be proactive in organising programmes involving the grassroots so that the change can be achieved."
Jannie Lasimbang, Sabah Law and Native Affairs Assistant Minister.

A child will be defined as someone who is below the age of 18

“At the international level, the child is defined as those under 18 years of age ... so we in Sabah want to do the same thing,” she said, adding that children should be free and have the right to enjoy learning as part of their preparation for the future.

Image via SAYS

Last year, Sabah Mufti voiced his disagreement with Putrajaya's proposal to set the minimum age of marriage at 18:

On the other hand, in December 2018, Thailand's Islamic council has issued a nationwide ban on child marriage:

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