Over the weekend, Malaysia was swept by the shocking news about a controversial marriage between a 41-year-old man and an 11-year-old girl
The man from Kelantan had taken the Thai national as his third wife
last month. He already has two wives and six children between the ages five and 18.
The news went viral on social media after his second wife shared photos of her husband and his child bride.
This instantly sparked outrage across the nation with calls for stricter laws and regulations against child marriage.
Soon after, investigations by the Kelantan Welfare Department found that the marriage took place in Golok, Thailand.
The man as well as the girl's family had responded saying that the marriage was consented by her parents
and that they will only live together as husband and wife when she turns 16.
However, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said that she will discuss this matter with the relevant government department and agencies.
She said that this marriage was illegal because they did not receive consent from the Syariah Court as the girl was below the minimum legal age to get married, as reported by The Star
Currently, the legal age for marriage in Malaysia is 18. But according to the Islamic Family Law Enactment, the minimum legal age for a male is 18 and a female, 16
The Syariah Court can also permit marriages between those below the legal minimum age if they receive consent from the religious authorities as well as their parents.
Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, said that the government will amend the Child Act 2016 and the Islamic Family Enactment
to raise the minimum marriage age for women from 16 to 18
It is certainly high time to do so.