Johor prince: ‘Madness’ to wed girls at 14

Justin Ong
A screengrab from Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim’s Twitter account.

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 — Johor’s Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim questioned the country’s direction after a Sabah religious official suggested that girls as young as 14 should be legally marriageable.

“Making legal age of marriage for girls to 14? What the hell is happening to this country? Absolute madness!” read a post on the Johor crown prince’s Twitter page.

Sabah Mufti Datuk Bungsu @ Aziz Jaafar called for the legal marriage age to be lowered to 14 and 16 for girls and boys respectively to follow Shariah law.

The federal government is planning to standardise this at 18 years for all genders and all religions owing to continuing controversies in the country over child marriages.

Currently for non-Muslims, the minimum marriage age for boys and girls is 18, but a non-Muslim girl aged 16 can get married with approval from the state’s head of government — the mentri besar or chief minister.

Under state Islamic laws, the marriageable age is 18 for boys and 16 for girls, but Shariah courts have the authority to give consent to those below the permitted age to get married. There is no minimum age of marriage for Muslims.

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