Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail speaks to the media after visiting the widow of Allahyarham Major Zahir Armaya, Nour Shafinar Harun at RKAT of the Wardieburn Camp in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur. PIX: HAZROL ZAINAL / MalaysiaGazette / 20 SEPTEMBER 2019
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail speaks to the media after visiting the widow of Allahyarham Major Zahir Armaya, Nour Shafinar Harun at RKAT of the Wardieburn Camp in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur. PIX: HAZROL ZAINAL / MalaysiaGazette / 20 SEPTEMBER 2019

By Mohd Zaini Samsu Hadi

KUALA LUMPUR – The government is strategizing and planning to overcome the cause of underaged marriage holistically with the cooperation of government agencies and non-government organisations.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said, actions have been taken from the legal point of view and they are awaiting for the states to amend their enactments.

She said, some states agreed with that amendments while seven others don’t.

“Among the states which did not agree with it are Sarawak, Pahang, Terengganu, Perlis, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah and Kelantan,” she said.

According to Wan Azizah, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) is in the midst of amending Act 303 to increase the minimum marriage age to 18 year-old for females.

She said, JAKIM is also coordinating with the states to implement the Islamic family law enactment at the states.

However, Wan Azizah emphasized that the application for underaged marriage under Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 (Act 164) will be tightened through standard operating procedures, which will take into consideration the social and health aspects of the applicants.

Earlier, the government had emphasized its commitment to raise legal marriage age from 16 to 18. Wan Azizah who is also the Minister of Women, Family and Community Development said that the proposal to increase marriage age is being refined by the ministry and several agencies.

The matter is parallel with the Harapan Book manifesto, to increase the legal marriage age for men and women to 18. – MalaysiaGazette

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