The 11-year-old child bride has declared that she is in love. She claimed to be in love with the man whom she calls “abe” (brother) since she was nine years old.
She does not mind being his third wife.
“His children are my friends. We were staying behind his house for many years.
“I have always liked him since I was little. He is a kind man. He is good to my family. So when he proposed marriage, I agreed.
“I have loved him since I was nine,” said the girl, whose parents are Thai nationals.
Her father, who wants to be known only as Mat, said he agreed to accept the marriage proposal because his daughter had agreed to it.
“Furthermore, my son-in-law is a good man. But we will only allow her to live with her husband after she turns 16.
“She will stay with us for the next five years. She is still a child,” he said.
Mat said they accepted the marriage proposal during the recent fasting month.
The 41-year-old groom told The Star that he married the girl because they have been in love since three years ago.
He said he first met her when she accompanied her mother who was working at his first wife’s restaurant.
“We made an ‘agreement’ for a nikah secara gantung (‘suspended engagement’) first. My wife will live with her parents until she is 16.
“When she reaches that age, then we will make a confirmation of the marriage with the religious councils in Thailand and Malaysia,” he said.
He felt that he had not done anything wrong because he married the girl with the permission of her parents.
He also claimed that he obtained the consent of his own parents and that of his first wife.
“My first wife knows and she agreed. My second wife did not give her consent so I had to marry secretly.
“I have not given a thought about my second wife’s decision to divorce yet.
“After all, I’ve carried out my responsibilities as a husband and father. I have given my wives everything,” he said, adding that he gave his second wife RM700 as duit raya and even bought her a house in cash, besides paying for her car and its maintenance.
Kelantan Syariah chief judge Datuk Daud Muhammad said both Syariah Court and parental approvals were needed for marriage involving a minor.
“Even if the wedding took place in another country, the bride and groom must seek Syariah Court approval,” he said.
Daud said it was an offence marrying a minor without court approval. They are liable to a RM1,000 (S$340) fine.
Kelantan Islamic Religious Department director Datuk Che Mohd Rahim Jusoh said they had also carried out an investigation into the case.
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