Gov't to propose stricter SOP for child marriages

    (Updated )

    The government will propose stricter standard operating procedure (SOP) involving child marriages, and the cases will be heard before Syariah High Court judges.

    Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Fuziah Salleh (above) said this was because the High Court judges were more experienced and trained, apart from ensuring stricter procedures were implemented.

    Currently, applications for child marriages are heard before Syariah lower court judges.

    She said applications for child marriages should not be taken lightly because such marriages, for whatever reasons, including poverty, would pose more harm than good to the children involved.

    “They need to go through psychological tests, their parents will be interviewed and there is also a need to look at the mental and physical condition of the child, as those who are too young will not be able to shoulder the responsibility.

    “It will also require a doctor’s medical report. This strict SOP aims at protecting the well-being of these children,” she said after attending the Kuantan parliamentary constituency women’s appreciation ceremony yesterday.

    Fuziah, who is also Kuantan MP, added that the proposal for stricter SOP was tabled at the Syarie Chief Judges conference last year.

    However, Fuziah said it would be challenging to implement the proposal as a new law as the Syariah courts were under the purview of the states’ religious council.

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