SEPANG: Officers from the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry are in Tumpat, Kelantan, to meet a 15-year-old girl who had reportedly married a man 30 years her senior.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who also heads the ministry, said the officers were looking into the case, as the federal government was trying to raise the minimum marriage age to 18.
It was reported that the teenager married the 44-year-old People’s Volunteer Corp (Rela) member, who is a father of two, in July following the approval of the Syariah Court. She is his second wife.
According to Dr Wan Azizah, the ministry has to abide by state laws.
She said as the state’s Syariah Court was involved in the union, its jurisdiction on Islamic matters has to be considered.
“They have been married by the Syariah Court, so we have to go through that process, and then try to raise the minimum marriage age.
“We have laws to say that if they break it (marriage age), then they have to pay a fine,” she said at the launch of AirAsia's childcare centre at its headquarters here on Tuesday (Sept 18).
In July, it was reported that a 41-year-old father of six married a girl 30 years younger than him as his third wife.
He went to Golok, a border town in Narathiwat, southern Thailand, during Hari Raya to have the marriage solemnised with the 11-year-old Thai girl.
The man, who already has two wives, is said to be a self-proclaimed imam at his village in Gua Musang, Kelantan.
The girl is now under the protection of the Narathiwat provincial Social Development and Human Security Ministry.
The Narathiwat governor has formed an interdisciplinary team comprising a social worker, a psychologist and a medical doctor to care for the 11-year-old girl.