Vice-President Ms Ng Yeen Seen on Child Marriages
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Not too long ago, the nation was shocked with the young bride from Kelantan of Thai descent and our Ministry of Women Affairs pledged to develop a standard operating procedure (SOP) to impose stricter guidelines to standardise screening processes for marriages involving minors. 

First, I believe that the SOP will not be in the best interest of the child; but will instead perpetuate and preserve child marriage in the country. Secondly, while we are waiting for the Ministry to publish their ‘SOP’, we learned of another 45 years old man marrying a 15 years old girl again today, in Kelantan.

Child marriage is a complete violation of a child’s human rights and this is a crime that has been condoned, and approved by the state Syariah Court of Kelantan. 

Why are we legalizing and justifying sex with a child? If a child cannot vote at the age of 13 and 15, she is then also incapable of consenting to sex and can also be raped in the act of consummation of the marriage. 

NO Parents should be allowed to pawn their child’s future and rights away to decide for themselves by consenting to an arranged marriage that is ultimately leading to a rape and abuse of her fundamental basic human rights. No child is capable of saying no to a man much older than her when she is under-age.  

This is wrong at all fronts. We are substituting a consenting adult by the parents’s consent on-behalf. As a child of 15 years old, she is not yet an adult capable of deciding therefore not yet capable of being a consenting adult.

Whether this girl is saying yes or no, the very basis of setting limit is to recognize the inability of the child to decide what is best for them. If you can accept child marriage of some child, then what is stopping us from marrying off baby girls and baby boys!? Paedophiles don’t discriminate and differentiate between a baby girl of 2 years old or a girl of 10 years old. Where is the limit?

Here we are allowing the parents who may be tempted and a decision was being made under duress, financial or otherwise; on behalf of a defenseless child. We must protect all children from abusive parents and this is a form of abuse by the parents. 

If we can allow parents to decide for their under-age child and marry them away due to whatever justification; then what difference are there for us to also allow and regulate parents to marry off their babies to paedophiles? If we have laws in the country to punish irresponsible parents who abuse their child physically of any age, why are we allowing parents to subject to their young defenseless child against rape by marriage?

This is going to make Malaysia a laughing stalk among civilized countries and a heaven for paedophiles. 

Together, we should all stand up against this sickening practice.

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