In response to a proposal by an opposition member of parliament to amend the Sexual Offences Against Children bill to include a ban on child marriages; a member of Malaysian parliament, Tasek Gelugor, has said girls as young as nine were “physically and spiritually” ripe for marriage.
Tasek Gelugor said: “They (girls) reach puberty at the age of nine or 12. And at that time, their body is already allied to them being 18 years old. So, physically and spiritually, it is not a barrier for the girl to marry.”
He stated further: “Civil law sets the minimum age of marriage at 18, but those above 16 can be married with the permission of their state’s chief minister.”
“Under Islamic law, children younger than 16 can get married if the Shariah courts allow it.”
“The law only criminalizes ‘grooming’, touching and befriending children as a prelude to sexual abuse, and spells out penalties for making and possessing pornography involving those under 18.”
Tasek Gelugor said there was “nothing wrong” with a rape victim marrying her rapist as she would then not face a “bleak future.”
His statements Gelugor’s comments sparked outrage on social media, with some opposition politicians asking that he be fired.