PAS says no to ban on child marriage

KOTA BARU: PAS is rejecting any attempt to impose a blanket ban on child marriage.

Its vice-president Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah said imposing a blanket ban on such marriages contravened religious teachings.

“It is not wrong to marry young, from a religious perspective,” he said on the sidelines of the Kelantan legislative assembly sitting yesterday.

He was responding to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa’s statement that the Government will draw up a strict standard operating procedure (SOP) for the approval of underage marriage under the syariah court.

Mohd Amar said rather than imposing a 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 needs to be sought in cases where marriages involve underage children.

“We have laws. Enforce it. We don’t have to override 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 the 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 noted that Malaysia had comprehensive laws, but lacked enforcement.

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