KOTA BARU: Imposing a blanket ban on child marriage contravenes religious teachings, said PAS Vice President Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah.
He claimed therefore, suggestions made by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa to impose a blanket ban on child marriages could not be accepted.
"It is not wrong to marry young, from the religious perspective," he said on the sidelines of the Kelantan legislative assembly sitting Thursday.
He said this in response to Mujahid's suggestion to impose a blanket ban on marriages involving under-aged children.
According to statistics released by the National Registration Department, of the 1,845 marriages involving under-aged children recorded last year, 52% were non-Muslims.
Mohd Amar claimed that rather than imposing a blanket ban, it was better to enforce existing laws to protect young children from being forced into unwanted early marriages.
"Prior approval from the state authorities need to be sought in cases where marriages involve under-aged children.
"We have laws. Enforce it. We don't have to impose a blanket ban overriding religious jurisdiction," he said.
Mohd Amar also described as redundant a proposed new law to curb religious and racial hatred.
Mujahid had suggested the implementation of Racial and Religious Hatred Act to maintain peace and harmony in plural Malaysia.
"The existing Sedition Act is good enough to tackle this. Why formulate more new laws?" he said.
He claimed that Malaysia had comprehensive laws, but lacked enforcement.