Malaysia is busy discussing the right age for people to marry.
Malaysia’s Sabah Mufti Datuk Bungsu Aziz Jaafar has spoken out against setting the minimum age of marriage at 18 as it won’t be in tune with the Sharia law which prescribes 14 years of age for girls and 16 for boys.
The religious authority also said, as quoted in Free Malaysia Today, that some of these children are already ‘mature.’
“The reason that these pupils are allowed to get married early is because some of these children can already be considered mature.”
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister of Sabah has said that even he felt that setting the legal marriageable age at 18 years is too late. He was quoted as saying:
“We have to see the methods and practices already in place because we know some are based on religious matters. Sometimes (I also feel) 18 is a bit lanjut (late). Some people even marry at 17. However, I will need to refer to the mufti because he is a religious authority and I am confident he knows about the (Islamic) laws and whether (the age limit) should be 15, 16 or 18.”
Malaysian politicians are toeing the line of extremists as the current government is widely believed to be favoring Christians and not doing enough to keep Islamic values. After recently criticizing punishment to two Lesbians, whom he felt bring bad name to the holy name to Islam, the Prime Minister Mahathir Bin Mohamad said that Malaysia would never recognize marriage between same-sex couples as Malaysia does not subscribe to ‘western values.’
He said that only a couple with their own children, or even adopted children, is considered a family. But two men and two women is not considered a family. Thus, he closed the matter then and there itself.
Malaysia is Muslim majority but follows moderate version of Islam.