Malaysian man who married 11-year-old girl fined $450

Malaysian man who married 11-year-old girl fined $450 by sharia court
1 min read
10 July, 2018
A court has charged a 41-year-old man with illegally marrying an 11-year-old girl in Malaysia, following widespread outrage across the country.
Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the marriage was illegal [Getty]

An Islamic court in northeastern Malaysia has fined a 41-year-old man RM1,800 ($448) for illegally marrying an 11-yeaar-old girl.

Che Abdul Karim Che Abdul Hamid, who works as a rubber tapper, was charged with solemnising a marriage and polygamy without obtaining court permission, according to local media.

In Malaysia, Muslims under-the-age of 16 can marry with permission from a sharia court.

He pleaded guilty to both charges and reportedly asked the  judge to reduce his fine and not to send him to jail.

The marriage, which took place in a Thai mosque just across the Malaysia-Thailand border, sparked controversy last month when it gained widespread media attention.

"Marrying an 11-year-old girl is like the behaviour of a child predator or paedophile," Syed Azmi Alhabshi, a child activist, said at the time.

News of the marriage also prompted a response from Malaysia's government, which investigated the circumstances and met with the young girl's family in Thailand.

Last week, Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said that the marriage was illegal due to the girl's age and because permission was not sought from a court.

She added that the government would provide medical assistance and counselling for the girl.