The Kelantanese says that his marriage to an 11-year-old affected everyone because the government is working to raise the minimum age for a marriage to 18 years.
PETALING JAYA: A rubber rapper who sparked controversy after he married a minor said he felt guilty for accidentally forcing Putrajaya to raise the minimum age for marriage to 18 years, reported Berita Harian.
"I feel guilty because my marriage affected everyone," the 41-year-old told Malay daily, adding that people had since then urged the government to raise the legal marriage age to 18 in the country.
Although Berita Harian did not mention the rubber tapper, it was previously reported that Che Abdul Karim Che Abdul Hamid received a fine of RM1,800 from the Gua Musang Shariah Court after he pleaded in June for a marriage with an 11-year-old in southern Thailand.
He also pleaded guilty to operating polygamy without permission from his spouse. The girl was his third wife.
The Kelantanese also signed brickbats when he said that he had wanted to marry her since she was seven years old.
Earlier this month, Deputy Prime Minister said. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail that different ministries, as well as state governments, worked to raise the minimum age for marriage.
Wan Azizah, who is also minister of women, family and community development, said that this entails a change in legislation, such as the Islamic law on family law legislation 1984, the Islamic laws for family ordinances in every state, the reforming of wether (marriage and divorce) ) 1976 Act, as well as national customary laws in Sarawak.
The tapper also told Berita Harian that he still had regular contact with his child bride, who is only known as Ayu, who went back to her birthplace Narathiwat, Thailand with her parents.
He saw her last two weeks ago.
"Our wedding photo is the only consolation I have, but I still miss her," he was quoted.
Earlier he would have said that he would apply for a marriage certificate after five years, when the girl turns 16, the marital age according to Sharia.
Until then, the girl will live with her parents, he said.
The provincial governor of Narathiwat, Suraporn Prommool, had said that the girl underwent mental health therapy because of the intense attention her marriage caused.