KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 27 — The decision to impose a total ban on child marriage has not been finalised yet, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail told the Dewan Negara today.
Dr Wan Azizah, who is also women, family and community development minister, said the matter was still under study, including in terms of the legal and social implications if the minimum age of marriage was increased to 18 years.
“This study is very important to determine whether the amendment is a total ban or with certain exceptions,” she said.
She was responding to a question from Senator Datuk Mohd Suhaimi Abdullah who had wanted to know the government’s action to curb child marriages.
Dr Wan Azizah said that in this regard, the government needed to take into account the social issues related to underage sex activities, including out-of-wedlock pregnancies and illegitimate babies.
She added that her ministry was also planning a series of meetings with the Attorney General’s Chambers, the Malaysian Syariah Judiciary Department and every state Islamic Religious Council, the Department of Orang Asli Development, the representatives of customs and traditions and the and Customs Councils in states like Sabah and Sarawak to set the minimum age for marriage at 18 years.
She added that the study would encompass all marriages in Malaysia, both Muslim and non-Muslim. — Bernama