updated 7 Aug 2010, 10:37
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Thu, Aug 05, 2010
New Straits Times
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'No problems when people marry early'

MALACCA Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Mohd Rustam defended the move by the state Islamic Religious Council (MAIM) to allow young teens to get hitched.

He said the move was meant to prevent illegal liaisons between the young, which at the same time, would go towards addressing the issue of unwed mothers as well as babies born out of wedlock.

Ali was responding to views from various quarters who questioned the need for marriage involving young teens, as they were either not mature or too young to carry the responsibilities.

He explained that in the past, there were hardly any cases involving illegal liaisons or even babies being dumped when couples were married at a young age.

"Now, when they do not get married at a young age, we have all kinds of problems," he said when contacted in Krabi, Thailand.

He was attending the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) meeting there.

Ali is confident that despite marrying at an early age, the young couples would be able to learn, appreciate and understand their new found responsibilities.

He said a recent conference on social ills found that one of the solutions for social ills among the young was to bring them back to the path of religion, which in turn, meant the need for marriage.

Ali, who is also the chairman of MAIM, said the move to allow for early marriage was backed by more than 500 imam and mufti in the state.

Ali said if everybody said no to the solution, then he feared that it would only lead to more cases of illegal relationships, babies being dumped and unwed mothers.

"They do not allow it... and then blame us. Illegal or non-illegal relationship, which is better?" he asked.

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