An Islamic official should not have solemnized a marriage in southern Thailand between a 41-year-old Malaysian man and an 11-year-old Thai girl, local officials said Monday amid furor in neighboring Malaysia over the wedding.
Officials in both countries said the case was being investigated. News of the June 18 wedding in Sungai Kolok, a district of Narathiwat province, surfaced over the weekend, angering people in Malaysia. Women’s advocacy groups are asking the new Malaysian government to ban all child marriages over concerns that they violate human rights.
“The Sungai Kolok imam was wrong to marry the couple. He violated the charter of the Islamic Committee, while certainly breaching Thai law,” Safiri Jeha, president of the Islamic Committee of Narathiwat province that is supported by the Thai government, told BenarNews.
“By Islamic principles, a woman can marry when she is mature, about 15 and older.”
The committee plans to meet Tuesday and set up a team to investigate the marriage. Sungkai Kolok sits along the border with the neighboring Malaysian state of Kelantan.
Meanwhile, the director of the foreign affairs unit of the Thai Southern Border Administration Center, a government agency that administers the predominantly Muslim and Malay-speaking region known as the Deep South, said investigators determined that the girl’s parents were natives of Narathiwat.
Full story: BenarNews
Hadi Azmi and Mariyam Ahmad
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Pattani, Thailand
Copyright ©2018, BenarNews. Used with the permission of BenarNews.