IPOH, July 16 — The 41-year-old rubber tapper who married an 11-year-old girl in Kelantan reportedly said today he had wanted to tie the knot with the girl since she was seven years old.
The father of four told BH Online today that news of his marriage had only shocked the outside world, as most of the villagers and his friends had known about his wish for a while.
The man said he had told his friends, and even shown them a picture of the girl, known as Ayu, while he was in the holy land of Mecca.
Most of them, he said, had agreed to the union as the girl was not in school and came from a poor family.
The 41-year-old said he was unsure what made him feel like marrying the girl, but claimed it was not driven by desire.
Instead, he reiterated his claim that he wanted to protect Ayu and provide welfare for her.
“When news of our marriage spread, only outsiders were shocked because most of the villagers and my friends knew about it for a while,” he was quoted as saying.
“I knew Ayu since she was small because we were neighbours, and I also taught Al-Quran lessons to her... it was then I told myself ‘one day I will take this girl as my wife’ and I did so four years later.”
“Believe me death and jodoh (destined partner) comes from Allah insult me if you must, but I am not scared or dissuaded from going through with the marriage because my new responsibility is teaching her to be closer to Allah.”
The man repeated his claim that he would not ‘touch’ his wife until she was 16. He said the couple would be staying together if he only got married because of desire, instead of waiting for five years.
“After marriage I feel relieved because I can guide her closer to Allah while taking care of her without sinning,” he was quoted as saying.
“I realised many are scolding and criticising me but they are outsiders who don’t know me or Ayu’s family.”
The rubber tapper also hoped all three of his wives would live together in love and harmony.
His 11-year-old bride has not met with the other two wives to “protect his first and second wives’ emotions”.
“I promise to steer our household well. Stop insulting us, but instead pray for our happiness together,” he was quoted as saying.