SHAH ALAM, Sept 5 ― The legal marrying age for Muslims in Selangor has officially been raised from 16 to 18, after the Selangor Sultan expressed support for the raise in the marriageable age.
This was made possible through amendments to the Islamic Family Law (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003 and subsequently, the Shariah Court Civil Procedure (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003.
Couples under 18 years old can still apply to get married but they will be subjected to a new set of stringent guidelines.
Selangor Speaker Ng Suee Lim confirmed that the amendments were passed after gaining full voice support from majority of the 54 assemblymen present during the state legislative assembly.
The amendment was tabled by Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari at the 14th state legislative assembly sitting today.
He said the amendments will not only seek to increase the marriageable age limit, but also to impose a stringent application procedure for those under 18.
“Previously, the Shariah courts will make their decision based on the good judgment of the judge himself.
“Now, we have added a provision that specifies a set of guidelines that must be followed for applicants below 18,” he said at the state secretariat.
Among the new pre-requisites include an application from the parents or guardians of those under 18, alongside an affidavit of support.
He said male and female applicants must also provide an affidavit which shows that both parties are in the right mental and physical state to embark on a marriage.
They must also profess if they have previously been convicted for any criminal acts.
“The affidavit would allow the authorities to gauge their own understandings of what’s to come once they get married.
“The court will then issue an order to obtain relevant health, socio-economic and criminal records to validate their affidavit,” he said.
Amirudin said to ensure transparency, the courts will have the authority to initiate their own investigations and call up relevant witnesses prior to making a decision.
“The courts have to ensure that the wellbeing of those under 18 will be of utmost priority so that the marriage will bring more boon than bane to the parties involved,” he said.
The Sungai Tua assemblyman is also hopeful that the passing of the amendments would prompt other states to follow its footsteps.
“There may be concerns about the disuniformity regarding marriageable age across the nation but we hope with Selangor taking this first step, other states or even the federal government would do the same,” he said.
During the tabling, Amirudin revealed that between 2013 and 2018, a total of 429 applications for underage marriage were made in the state but only 355 were approved by the state Shariah Court.
He also said that a total of 6,268 similar applications were made nationwide between 2010 and 2015.
Meanwhile, he said a total of 2,775 applications were made by non-Muslims for the same period.
Related Articles Guna dana awam, calon MCA seru potong elaun Adun ponteng Selangor could become the first state to implement minimum marriage age limit to 18 Cross-border marriage big business in southern Thailand