Decision on raising marriage age to 18 soon, says Wan Azizah
FMT July 07, 2018
Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail says the government is in the midst of discussions on raising the minimum age for marriage to 18 for both parties, with a decision to be made soon. Wan Azizah, who is also women, family and community development minister, said several ministries and government agencies were also studying the matter. “This is in line with Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto to raise the minimum age for marriage to 18 for both genders,” she said in a statement last night. This followed reports on the marriage of a 41-year-old man with an 11-year-old girl which went viral on social media and triggered outrage among the public. Wan Azizah previously said that the couple were not considered married as long as no evidence was presented, and that the man is being investigated for sexual grooming which is an offence under the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017. She noted concerns raised by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) which had criticised the government for not enforcing the minimum age for marriage in the country. It had also said it was against the government’s proposal to develop a standard operating procedure for child marriage. Wan Azizah said the ministry was not in the process of reviewing any SOPs to govern child marriage as policies governing the approval and conduct of marriage did not come under the ministry.