A senior regional minister in Malaysia said people should be more worried about LGBTI people than child bride marriages.
Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah is the Deputy Chief Minister (Menteri Besar) of Kelantan – one of the nine Malaysian states.
His controversial comments came after a 41-year-old Malaysian man married an 11-year-old Thai girl. The pair married last month and the case has caused a stir.
Police have opened an investigation into the man who lives in Kelantan.
But Mohd Amar said that Malaysia – which is a Muslim majority country – shouldn’t worry too much about the issue.
‘This issue (child marriage) is not wrong in terms of religion (Islam)… it should not be sensationalised and made a national issue and this case is an isolated case,’ Mohd Amar told media.
‘Not everyone marries an 11-year-old child but the LGBT issue, illicit sex and having children out of wedlock are rampant everywhere, so much so that these have become a phenomenon in the country. This should be a concern to the government and society.’
With permission of a religious court, Muslims under 16 are allowed to get married in Malaysia.
Homosexuality and being transgender are both illegal in Malaysia.