Child marriage SOP just short-term solution, ban under consideration: Malaysian minister

While minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa admitted that there were challenges in a bid to ban child marriages, he said that Malaysia should come to a point where such underage marriages are banned.
While minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa admitted that there were challenges in a bid to ban child marriages, he said that Malaysia should come to a point where such underage marriages are banned. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The strict standard operating procedure (SOP) for the approval of underage marriages under Malaysia's Syariah Court will be prepared by the end of this month, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa.

He said the SOP was just a short-term measure to tighten up provisions and issues relating to child marriages.

"Let me say it here that it is just a temporary measure and the long-term solution is more important.

"It should come to a point where child marriages will be banned," he told reporters at the Parliament lobby on Wednesday (July 25).

Dr Mujahid, however, admitted that there were challenges in terms of technicalities in a bid to ban child marriages.

"It is not just like saying, 'okay, let's go and ban it'.

"We need to amend the laws and there are a lot of stakeholders. There are the Syariah laws at the state level and civil law, which currently gives the permission for such marriages through permission from the Syariah court or mentri besar, which I hope to see a total stop and ban to it.

 

"This is the first time we will be facing this so please give us some time.

"The end result is that we are hoping to end child marriages. Once the federal level has come up with perhaps with an amendment to the Law, we hope the states will follow it.

"There is no point having a law that is only followed at the federal level," he said.

Dr Mujahid also reaffirmed the Government's commitment to be transparent in providing data and statistics on child marriages.