updated 9 Dec 2011, 12:24
user id password
Thu, Aug 05, 2010
New Straits Times
Email Print Decrease text size Increase text size
Mixed reactions to decision allowing teen marriage

MALAYSIA - THE move by the Malacca Islamic Religious Council to allow male Muslims below the age of 18 and female Muslims below 16 in the state to wed has drawn mixed reaction from the public.

Student Nur Adilla Munir said she was not really keen on the idea and felt that teenagers were not mature enough to face parenthood.

"Honestly, teenagers should concentrate on studying and staying in school because we are living in an era where only an education can determine our future," said the 18-year-old in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

She felt that there were too many boys sweet talking naive and young girls into marriages and promising them "the world", which they knew they were unable to provide.

However, if teenagers wanted to get married, they should first learn and understand the cost of having a family, she added.

"They need to learn about commitment and responsibilities which they will face as young newlyweds or as young parents."

She suggested that besides getting approval from their parents, the teenagers should also go through counselling to determine if they were fully prepared and ready, and have a clear understanding of what a marriage was all about.

Journalist Johanna Azrey Sobrey also did not agree with the decision as she felt that it was still a young age to be married.

"The question is: Could the couple afford to provide for each other because marriage means being independent and starting a life on your own. One cannot depend on the parents anymore.

"If some people think it is better for these teenagers to be married in order to reduce social ills, it is certainly understandable. However, it all boils down to the family unit as well.

"If parents raise their children based on their religious teachings and to respect other individuals, such socail ills could be avoided," said the mother of a 19-month-old daughter.

As a parent, she said she wanted her child to have an education and a bright future without ever having the need to think about the stress of raising her own family while studying.

"Communication between parents and children is also very vital," she added.

Meanwhile office manager Sarah Ali Ahmad, 46, felt that the Malacca Islamic Religious Council's decision was a good solution to curb the rising social ills among teenagers.

"Look at the past, early marriages were practised and their purpose was to prevent adultery, pre-marital sex abortions.

"I believe that with the decision, cases of babies born out of wedlock and adultery cases could be prevented gradually."

She also felt that teenagers nowadays were widely exposed to a variety of information as well as positive and negative influences which would eventually lead them to experiment due to their curiosity.

"If the move is practised, chances are these teenagers would not go out to explore and experiment, and with the proper support from their respective families, early marriages could work out."

readers' comments

Copyright © 2011 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.