Monday, March 15, 2010
'Act against hubby of 11-year-old'
KUALA LUMPUR: The marriage of a 11-year-old girl to a 41-year-old man is unlawful, said Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.
"The marriage was not approved by the syariah court," she said.
The Kelantan Muslim Family Law Enactment 2002 states that any female below the age of 16 is not allowed to be married unless with written permission from the court.
Shahrizat, who visited the girl at Sungai Buloh Hospital where she has been warded since Saturday, said authorities had to take immediate action against the man who claimed to be the husband.
She also urged the authorities to check the validity of the religious group (jemaah tabligh), which the "husband" claimed to lead.
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"This group is believed to have encouraged child marriages by assuring the parents of 'heavenly rewards'."
Describing the man as totally irresponsible for taking the girl as his wife, Shahrizat said the ministry would now take charge of the child.
"She is in trauma. This is such a heart-wrenching story," she added.
The girl was "married off" to the man by her father in Kelantan two weeks ago.
The family lost contact with her until she was found near a mosque in Batu Caves on Saturday evening.
"For now, the ministry will counsel the girl until she is discharged."
Shahrizat added that she would write to the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan and Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail to investigate the case further.
"Similar investigations should also be conducted into the case of a 10-year-old girl who was married to a 40-year-old man in Pasir Mas recently," she said, adding that this girl had yet to be located.
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