KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18 — Kelantan has another child marriage case, this time a 15-year-old girl taken by a man 30 years her senior to be his second wife.
Without disclosing the names of the man and the child, the New Straits Times reported that the Shariah court approved the marriage between the girl and the 44-year-old man who already has two children.
The 15-year-old child is the youngest daughter of a poor couple with 13 children; the parents reportedly said they consented to the marriage due to their poverty and desire for a better life for her.
Her father, Che Rahim Che Deraman, 60, said he and his wife, Mariam Hassan, only earn between RM200 to RM300 a month from a small sundry store in front of their house.
“No parent wants to see his or her child live in hardship. We do not want our daughter to live in difficulty as we did, raising 13 children.
“We want our children to live a more comfortable life, and this includes our youngest daughter.
“Her siblings are all married and now have their own lives. We know that she is underage, but we only want the best for her,” he was quoted saying by the newspaper. He reportedly has 30 grandchildren.
Che Rahim said he and his wife had got to know the man from Gua Musang, Kelantan a few months ago through one of their sons, confirming that the Shariah courts approved the marriage.
“Even though he is married with two children, he applied for polygamy status from the courts and was granted permission,” he was quoted saying, also noting that their 15-year-old daughter did not say no to the marriage.
The Muslim solemnisation of vows — between the man who is a member of the People’s Volunteer Corp (Rela) and the 15-year-old who is a secondary school dropout — was done in July at the Masjid Kampung Laut in Tumpat, Kelantan, NST reported.
NST said the girl, who did not continue her studies beyond Form One, seemed cheerful and happy about her marriage to the elder man.
“Honestly, I don’t mind what people say about me. The most important thing is that I’m happy with my husband, and I will try to make him happy for the rest of my life,” she reportedly said, also confirming she had no qualms marrying him despite only knowing him since a few months ago.
Malaysia was previously rocked by a June marriage in Kelantan of a 41-year-old Malaysian rubber tapper and an 11-year-old Thai Muslim girl — with the latter being his daughter’s friend. The Thai child was made his third wife against the wishes of his first and second wife.
According to NST, a June 20 marriage between a Terengganu boy and a Kelantan girl aged 19 and 13 respectively gained public attention after the case surfaced on July 22.
Related Articles Putrajaya powerless to act, DPM says after second Kelantan child bride case Report: Stadium among venues considered for public caning in Kelantan Rights group questions DPM’s sincerity in resolving Kelantan child bride case