KUALA LUMPUR: Criminal action cannot be taken against the 41-year-old Malaysian who married an 11-year-old Thai girl because there is as yet, insufficient evidence to build a watertight case against him, says Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (pic).
"We need to investigate the case further and build a watertight case so that such incidences will not happen again, period," she said during her ministerial reply on the motion of thanks on the royal address in Parliament today (July 31).
She added that any action must be done accordingly, as it will be a test case and set a precedent for the recently-passed law against grooming by sex predators.
Dr Wan Azizah said she had discussed the matter with the Attorney General's Chambers, which said more evidence was required on the case.
She said that the 11-year-old girl's parents had told her officers that they were "functional family".
"Action must be based on concrete evidence, not on media reports or hearsay," she said.
Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister, said the girl was sent for a medical check-up.
She did not to go into details of the case, as the investigation was ongoing.
She was responding to a suggestion by Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (BN-Pengerang) for the 41-year-old man to be charged under the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017 instead of using Islamic law.
Kasthuriraani Patto (PH-Batu Kawan) also called for criminal action against the man.
She said he had already admitted to having an interest in the girl when she was only seven years old and had groomed her into agreeing to marry him.