The Sabah cabinet has agreed to set the minimum age for marriage at 18 in the state.
Sabah Law and Native Affairs Assistant Minister Jannie Lasimbang said the decision was made following the tabling of the proposal on the minimum age limit for marriage by the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry at the last Parliament sitting.
“The federal government seeks to amend the constitution to set a minimum age for marriage at 18. Hence, the law in Sabah will be reviewed to make it in tandem (with federal law),” she told reporters when met at the presentation of appointment letters to 86 customary chiefs, including native chiefs and village heads in the Sook state constituency in Keningau today.
Jannie said the review of the law would involve amending the Native Courts Enactment.
“At the ministry’s side, this change is not something easy to achieve, that is why we want the native court and all the customary leaders to be proactive in organising programmes involving the grassroots so that the change can be achieved,” she said.
On the definition of a child, Jannie said it was for those below the age of 18.
“At the international level, the child is defined as those under 18 years of age ... so we in Sabah want to do the same thing,” she said, adding that children should be free and have the right to enjoy learning as part of their preparation for the future.