PETALING JAYA: The Pakatan Harapan women’s wing has praised Selangor Ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah for his concern over the issue of underaged marriage.
Sultan Sharafuddin had decreed that an in-depth discussion on the subject was needed.
This led to Selangor’s Islamic religious authorities calling for tighter restrictions to underaged marriage and for the legal marrying age for girls to be raised from 16 to 18.
In a statement on Friday (July 27), Wanita Pakatan Harapan chief Zuraida Kamaruddin praised the Ruler’s decree, stating that he always prioritises the well-being of Islam in efforts to ensure that the underaged marriage issue can be resolved immediately.
The Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS) had held an in-depth discussion on the issue with the Selangor Syariah Judiciary Department (Jakess), Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS), which also involved cooperation from government agencies and NGOs.
“Wanita Pakatan Harapan fully supports the suggestion to amend the Islamic Family Law (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003 to increase the marriageable age for Muslims from 16 to 18 for both boys and girls,” said Zuraida, in her congratulations to all involved in the discussion.
According to Zuraida, who is also the Housing and Local Government Minister, the commitment shown by all parties in the discussion should be highly praised as it opens a new paradigm to empower the community, especially Muslims, to become more progressive.
“Children should be given the space to grow in a conducive environment, where they need to be given enough education and love,” she said.
Parents - particularly those who come from low-income families, said Zuraida - should not take the easy way out by marrying off their children due to hardships or “any other reason”.
“The cooperation between the authorities, religious departments, NGOs and the community needs to be further enhanced to ensure that underaged marriage is entirely eradicated,” she added.
She also cited efforts by Wanita PKR last year, where the wing held a discussion with Jakess in efforts to empower the Selangor Syariah Court, especially in cases that involved women and children.
“Wanita Pakatan Harapan believes that the Selangor Syariah court is capable of being an example to other states, in terms of ruling on syariah cases more progressively, fairly, and in keeping with the times,” said Zuraida.
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