The Marriage Of A 41-Year-Old Malaysian Man Who Already Has 2 Wives To An 11-Year-Old Girl
He is a 41-year-old man. She is barely 11.
He is a married man who has two wives and is a father to multiple kids, with the youngest being five and the eldest being 18.
However, despite the fact that she is seven years younger than one of his eldest children, the 41-year-old man from Gua Musang, Kelantan, convinced the 11-year-old girl's parents to bless their marriage which reportedly took place on 18 June this year.
And while the marriage, which came to light on Saturday after one of the wives congratulated the man on Facebook, has left Malaysians feeling shocked who took to social media to air their disbelief, the 11-year-old child bride says she is in love with the man
"Since we got married about two weeks ago, we have yet to sleep together because Abe (Kelantanese slang for Abang which is a term also used to refer to husbands) promised we will only live together in another five years," the 11-year-old child was quoted as saying by New Straits Times (NST Online) on Saturday, 30 June.
"Even though many people are angry with me, I do not want a divorce, as long as Abe wants me and I myself love him," she said, adding that her parents had asked her about the man's intention to marry her, "I accepted because I love him."
"I know I am still young and not in school, but I have known Abe for a long time, one of Abe's children is also my friend. I love Abe because he is a nice man."
The girl's parents, too, are sold on the man's promise of nikah gantung, saying he has agreed to wait five years before he would consummate the marriage with their daughter when she turns 16
"A week before Hari Raya, my (then) son-in-law came to see me to express his intention to marry my youngest child and asked if I agreed," the girl's 49-year-old father said, explaining that while he was initially shocked because his daughter is still young, he was convinced after the man promised a more comfortable life for them.
"In fact, my son-in-law said they would only live as husband and wife and register their marriage in five years. That is why I accepted his proposal.
"What happens after this, I leave it up to my son-in-law to handle it. I have known him for a long time because previously we used to rent a house next door to his first wife.
"My daughter is also friends with my son-in-law's child with his first wife. Before this, whenever they went on holiday, they would take my daughter along.
"On the question of divorce or whether his other wives accept this or not, let my son-in-law handle it because we are just poor people," NST Online quoted the father as saying.
Currently, the 11-year is living with her parents at their home in Kampung Panggung Lalat, Gua Musang. Both the parents blessed the marriage of their daughter to the 41-year-old man, which took place in Sungai Golok on 18 June.
Meanwhile, the Kelantan Islamic Affairs Department (Jaheaik) in Kota Bharu claims it has not received any reports about the marriage, despite the fact that it has gone viral on the social media
However, Jaheaik director Che Mohd Rahim Jusoh said they would investigate the matter because even if a marriage is conducted in another country, Malaysians have to get the permission of the Syariah Court and the girl's parents if she is underage.
"The law only allows a woman who is 18 years and older to marry without requiring the consent of the shariah court," Che said, adding that if this consent was obtained, a girl who is younger than 18 years of age can marry as Islamic laws permit it.
On the other hand, Deputy PM Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is concerned about the marriage, said she has instructed Social Welfare Department officers to conduct a thorough investigation
"The Government is touched to see Malaysians so sensitive and responsive about this issue. Nevertheless, the decision that will be made has to be inclusive to ensure that the welfare and rights of each party are taken care of.
"The Government is determined to ensure that the legal system in the country is fair and that it protects the rights and dignity of each party," Dr Wan Azizah was quoted as saying by The Star Online on Saturday night, 30 June.