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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has issued a directive ordering all state governments in Malaysia to raise the legal minimum marriage age to 18 years for Muslims and non-Muslims, a state executive councillor (exco) said today.
Penang Women, Family, Gender Inclusiveness and Non-Islamic Religion Committee chairman Chong Eng confirmed the matter to Malay Mail, saying the directive was conveyed to her during the latest state exco meeting chaired by Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow yesterday.
“Yes, CM Chow reported to the exco meeting yesterday,” she said through a text message reply.
Dr Mahathir had on Tuesday chaired the 132nd meeting of the mentri besar and chief ministers at Perdana Putra, the first such meeting after Pakatan Harapan (PH) came to power.
The meeting was also attended by several Cabinet members, Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Ismail Bakar and Treasury secretary-general Datuk Ahmad Badri Mohd Zahir.
Asked if there was a timeframe to implement the changes, Chong said it was up to the individual state to process the directive.
Chong said Penang has agreed to increase the minimum age for marriage from 16 to 18 and directed the Penang Islamic Religious Department (JAIPP) to submit a report before the decision is finalised.
“The report has yet to be completed as of today,” she said.
She also disclosed that the state secretariat and the Penang Legislative Assembly have also been instructed to process Dr Mahathir’s directive.