12-year-old bride in Malaysia
A villager agreed to the marriage of his 12-year-old daughter to her 19-year-old boyfriend, saying that he rather them get married than be involved in improper acts.
Is there a child marriage in Malaysia?
Child Marriage in Malaysia: Akad Nikah
Malay Daily reported that Nur Fazira Saad, 12, had married Mohd Fahmi Alias, 19, last week after both families agreed to the union.
The couple’s akad nikah (marriage solemnisation) ceremony took place on Saturday after Nur Fazira received permission from the Kulim Syariah Court to marry, as she was underage.
Child Marriage in Malaysia: Girl's father wanted daughter to marry
Nur Fazira’s father, Saad Mustafa said that he had put a lot of thought into his daughter’s marriage and the responsibility that comes with married life.
“It is better for them to get married rather than doing something that is tak elok (improper),” he said at his house in Kampung Padang Cina.
Saad, 43, said that he had asked Mohd Fahmi to marry his daughter after he found out that she had stayed a night at his house last month.
Saad said his daughter told him that nothing happened and that she had spent the day with Mohd Fahmi before he sent her to a relative’s house.
“I blew my top and ordered her to call him. When Mohd Fahmi came to my house, he told me that he will be responsible for my daughter and will take care of her.
“I then replied that if that is so, then they should get married,” he said, adding that he hopes that his daughter would be cared for by her husband and his family.
Child Marriage in Malaysia: "I will be a good husband"
The daily quoted Mohd Fahmi saying that he promised to be a good husband to Nur Fazira.
“It is better for us to get married rather than get involved in maksiat (illicit relationship). I agree that it feels strange to be married at so young an age,” said Mohd Fahmi.
Nur Fazira, who had stopped schooling after her Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) last year, said she didn't consider her age to be an obstacle, adding that she was ready to be a good wife.
The couple's bersanding ceremony will be held at Kampung Naga Lilit, Padang Serai, at noon tomorrow.
Activists slam young couple's marriage
Malaysian activists however, slammed the wedding, renewing their calls for the government to outlaw child marriages.
Ratna Osman, executive director of activist group Sisters in Islam, described the young couple’s marriage as “shocking”.
"I don't understand why this is allowed in a country like Malaysia. We are talking about a developed country," she told AFP.
"The concern is that this is a child being married off. No parents should be doing this."
Marriage for underage children
Girls below the age of 16 must obtain the permission of the Syariah Court before they can marry. But activists say such permission is too readily granted.
Young girls getting married are not uncommon in Malaysia. There was a similar case two years ago, when a 14-year-old Muslim girl married a 23-year-old school teacher. Their marriage triggered similar calls for reform.
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