Malaysia Passes Child Sex Crimes Law, Does Not Ban Child Marriage

Kuala Lumpur. A Malaysian MP said girls as young as nine were “physically and spiritually” ready for marriage, as the Muslim-majority Southeast Asian country passed a law on sexual offences against children without criminalizing child marriage.

Shabudin Yahaya, a member of the Barisan Nasional coalition, made the comments in response to a proposal by an opposition member of parliament to amend the Sexual Offences Against Children bill to include a ban on child marriages.

The proposal was voted down by the majority of parliament.

“They reach puberty at the age of nine or 12. And at that time, their body is already akin to them being 18 years old. So physically and spiritually, it is not a barrier for the girl to marry,” Shabudin said on Tuesday (04/04) during a debate on the bill.

He also said there was “nothing wrong” with a rape victim marrying her rapist as she would then not face a “bleak future”.

Shabudin’s comments sparked outrage on social media, with some opposition politicians asking for him to be fired.

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