Source: Associated Press
By EILEEN NG
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian authorities are investigating the marriage between an 11-year-old Thai girl and a 41-year-old Malaysian Muslim, including elements of possible “sexual grooming” in the case, the deputy prime minister said Monday.
The case has sparked public outrage and widespread calls for child brides to be banned in the predominantly Muslim country.
Rubber scrap dealer Che Abdul Karim Che Abdul Hamid was believed to have secretly married the girl — a Thai citizen who lives with her parents in Malaysia — as his third wife in Thailand, and the union became public after one of his wives lodged a complaint with police.
Muslim girls under the minimum legal marriage age of 16 can wed with the consent of the Shariah court and their parents in Malaysia. Muslim men in Malaysia can marry four wives.