Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Child Marriages in Malaysia

From AsiaoneNews:

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: The concept of child marriage appears to be alive and well in Malaysia based on government statistics of premarital HIV screening for Muslims preparing to get married.

Last year, 479 children under 15 years, two of them boys, were getting ready to tie the knot. And 32 of them were below 10 years. None of them were found to be HIV-positive.


Malaysia is not a country that encourages child marriages. But neither does it outlaw it outright. Under Malaysian law, a Muslim girl below the age of 16 can marry, provided she has the consent of the syariah court. The syariah court is supposed to rule on each and every case and cannot give blanket permission.

And under the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act, which applies to non-Muslims, marriage is allowed only for people 18 years and above. However, a girl aged 16 years and above may marry, conditional upon a licence being obtained from the chief minister or menteri besar.

This means that it is supposed to be very difficult for a Muslim girl under 16 to get married, and it is supposed to be impossible for a non-Muslim girl under 16 to get married at all.

Read more here.


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