Looks like we still have a long way to go before we see the end of child marriage in Malaysia, especially at the rate the our laws are progressing.
The 41-year-old Kelantan man who upset the entire country and many human rights activists by taking in an 11-year-old bride has been simply let off with a RM1,800 fine
reported that the Gua Musang Syariah Court imposed the fine over two charges - marrying a minor without the court's consent
and engaging in polygamy without permission from his spouse
Or spouses, to be exact, since he has two other wives with whom he had six children, some who are around the same age as his new wife.
The man pleaded guilty to both charges, which under the Muslim Family Enactment 2002 carries a maximum fine of RM1,000 and two months' jail sentence.
However, he had reportedly pleaded not to be sent to jail because he was not represented in court.
He married the girl, who is of Thai nationality, in Narathiwat, Thailand in June. In fact, according to Harian Metro
, the couple recently received a marriage certificate
for the solemnisation.
Despite a public outrage towards this marriage, the man refused to have it annulled because he had agreed with the girl's parents that they would not live together until she was 16.
Her parents had also defended the marriage saying that their daughter's new husband would be able to take care of her and give her a better life.
Nevertheless, we are still waiting for the government to raise the minimum marriage age from 16 to 18, as pledged
by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail last week.
Because this needs to stop.