Where is the Kelantan child bride?

Jerry Choong
The girl married the man sometime in June against the wishes of his first and second wife. — Picture via Facebook

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 10 — Conflicting accounts have arisen as to the whereabouts of the 11-year old Thai Muslim girl who married a 41-year old rubber tapper in June.

The Star reported that she has been sent back to her country, and is now in Narathiwat in the south.

A source, understood to be a social activist, said Thailand’s Social Development and Human Security Ministry is currently caring for her following the Kelantan state government’s decision to send her back on Wednesday.

“They are to protect and rehabilitate her. It’s right for the Thai government to do so but a long-term plan is needed as the girl’s family is poor and no one would care for them,” the source said.

Concern has also been raised that certain religious ‘bodies’ might threaten the ministry to allow the child to remain with her husband.

The source added the leave order was quite sudden, and that the girl did not even have time to pack her things.

However, Berita Harian reported that the girl had instead moved into the interior of Kelantan as she was constantly ‘insulted and teased’ by people.

Her husband has reportedly moved his youngest wife and her family into a house at a rubber plantation in Gua Musang.

“After our marriage went viral, my wife was not only mocked by the villagers, but her photo was even taken before being spread to others via WhatsApp,” he said.

Despite the travelling distance, the husband said he is willing to go back and forth to send spending money and food.

“Let it be hours on end on the road, for now the happiness and safety of my wife is the priority,” he said

The girl married the man sometime in June, in Thailand, against the wishes of his first and second wife.

The issue was widely criticised on social media for encouraging child marriage, and he was subsequently fined a paltry RM1,800 by the Gua Musang Syariah Court.