The Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development has revealed that a total of 1,1211 teenagers below the age of 16 have applied for their marriage registration last year.
There were 827 applications for marriage below 16 years from the Muslim community last year, said Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim.
Kosmo! has reported that majority of the applicants were young girls. “In Malaysia, marriage laws fall under family laws and are administered separately between Muslims and non-Muslims,” she said in response to a question from Teo Nie Ching (DAP-Kulai) in Parliament Wednesday.
Teo also wanted the Women Family and Community Development Ministry (KPWKM) to state the measures taken to ban child marriages as Malaysia had accepted a UN resolution to ban child marriage in October 2013.
“Muslim marriage is administered under the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territories) Enactment 1984 and the Islamic Family Law Enactment in the statex which provide for marriage under the age of 16 to obtain the approval of the Shariah Court.
“While for non-Muslims, Section 10 of Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 provides for the minimum age for marriage at 18 years. However, she said if a girl has achieved 16 years, could marry with the approval of the Chief Minister,” she said.
Rohani said that the Women Family and Community Development Ministry had taken the stand that children should be given the opportunity to realise their full potential. She also added that several measures are being taken to curb under-age marriage.