IPOH: Discussions on the legal marriage age for Muslim children will be brought to the state legislative assembly, says Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu.
He said although the state has agreed to the federal suggestion to raise the minimum marriageable age for Muslim children to 18, they have not discussed the matter yet.
“Hopefully, we can bring the matter to the state legislative assembly in the July sitting and formulate the law after that,” he told reporters after officiating the launch of Perak’s guidebook for safety and self protection (Buku Panduan Keselamatan Dan perlindungan Diri) at the state secretarial building on Wednesday (May 8).
In November 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said laws governing child marriage would be tightened, covering both civil and Islamic marriages.
Dr Wan Azizah who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister, said the amendments would be tabled in Parliament by the middle of this year.
Child marriage became a national issue after several cases were reported in Kelantan, where an 11-year-old girl was taken as a third wife for a 41-year-old man in Gua Musang, and a 15-year-old girl married a man nearly 30 years her senior.
On a separate matter, Ahmad Faizal urged children to speak up when they are being touched inappropriately.
“I hope children, especially young girls, speak up when they are being harmed and abused. Regardless of who touched them, I hope they will speak up,” he said, adding that parents and teachers must also play their role to educate their children.