Press Statement
Wan Azizah Must Take Action in Child Marriage Case & Not Defend the Culprit
18 July 2018

I refer to the statement yesterday by DPM Wan Azizah in which she called on the public not to ‘lynch on social media’ the culprit in the Kelantan child marriage case and that the ‘alleged incident’ is still under ‘active investigation by multiple agencies’.

Firstly, it is impossible to understand what the DPM means by ‘alleged incident’. The culprit himself has admitted to the marriage, and been fined for it. Worse, he has also publicly admitted to lusting after the child victim since she was 7 years old!

It appears to be another attempt by the DPM to downplay this outrageous case. Earlier Wan Azizah had asked that the family’s ‘privacy’ be protected, and compared it to her experience when her husband was a prisoner. It is absurd to be talking about privacy issues, when a serious sexual crime has been perpetrated upon a child.

Her call to the public not to lynch the culprit on social media is incomprehensible, given that the crime is admitted by the perpetrator himself. Why defend this self-confessed pervert by claiming that the concerned public are ‘lynching’ him?

Is this an attempt to stifle public discussion of the matter? The public are entitled to criticise the actions of the culprit and call for an end to child marriages in Malaysia. This discussion is important and should be encouraged.

Further, it is baffling that Wan Azizah still claims that multiple agencies are investigating the matter. The facts are clear, and the perpetrator has confessed. What is the necessity for an interminable and ponderous investigation in this case? The public rightly want action taken, not more excuses and stalling.

This poor child remains in the hands of a self-confessed paedophile, to the international embarassment of our country. Why has this child not been rescued yet by the authorities?

And why has a ban upon child marriages not been announced in the wake of this sickening case?

More surprising is that no arrest has been made under anti child-grooming provisions in the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017.

The continued failure to take concrete action on this case is an affront against justice, decency and the rule of law.

Issued by,
Latheefa Koya
Executive Director
Lawyers for Liberty