K'tan records highest number of marriage applications below age 18

Modified 14 Mar 2019, 2:33 pm

Kelantan recorded the most number of marriage applications under the age of 18 made through the Syariah Court, with 140 submissions received from Jan 1, 2016 to Dec 31, 2018.

This is according to data provided to Parliament on Muslim marriage applications under the age of 18.

Coming in second was Sabah with 112 applications, followed by Sarawak with 104.

The statistic, provided by de facto Islamic affairs minister Mujahid Yusof Rawa in a written reply yesterday, did not state how many of these applications were approved.

Malacca and Penang recorded the lowest number of applications, with 15 each.

Mujahid provided the data in response to a query from Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto, who wanted to know how many underage marriages were approved by Syariah Courts as well as Sabah and Sarawak Native Courts.

Kasthuri had also asked about the government's progress in raising the legal marriage age to 18.

To this, Mujahid said that the legal amendments are still at the consultation phase.

Currently, the legal age for marriage is 16. For Muslims, exemptions can be granted by a Syariah Court judge. 

Non-Muslims can seek permission to enter into underage marriages from the National Registration Department and the menteri besar or chief minister of their respective states.

Although Putrajaya is seeking to raise the marriageable age, Women, Family, and Community Development Deputy Minister Hannah Yeoh had said the issue is complex, with many considerations to take into account for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

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