More harm than good: Fuziah
Published on: Monday, September 24, 2018

Labuan: The Government is very much concerned over underage marriages, as marrying young will cause more harm than good, said Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Fuziah Salleh (pic)."The MKI (National Fatwa Council for Religious Affairs in Malaysia) Fatwa states that child marriage brings more harm than good as it has psychological implications for the child bride as her uterus is not ready to assume the role of a mother," she said at the Labuan PKR Women Get-Together Programme at HMD Villa, Kg Lubok Temiang, here.

She said the Department of Syariah Judiciary Malaysia had a month ago introduced stricter standard operating procedures (SOPs), emphasising that the welfare of the child is paramount.

"As we have enactments under the purview of the state governments, it is up to the respective state governments to adopt the procedures or otherwise.

"But the latest child marriage case involving a 15-year-old child in Tumpat, Kelantan showed the procedures were not applied," Fuziah said.

She said the Government was considering if underage marriage cases should be heard before the High Court judges instead of the lower court judges.

"This is to ensure each case is being heard before judges with more expertise in the area. We are also looking into making the SOPs mandatory for courts to follow to ensure that the child's interest and welfare will be priority in underage marriage case proceedings," she said.

Fuziah said raising the age limit for marriage might not help much, as those eager to get married would always have ways and means to go about it like going to Thailand and so forth.

"As such, before we can make any decision, for the protection of the child, we must impose stricter SOPs and take into consideration the court judges assigned to conduct the proceedings.

Fuziah said it was the people's responsibility to help ensure children are not victimised as premature adulthood (child marriage) was closely linked to poverty and has lifelong consequences.

She said Selangor has adopted a new ruling setting the minimum age limit for marriage for both Muslim men and women in the State at 18 years.

Photo Source: Bernama


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