Press Statement
Investigate 44 year old man in 15 yr old Kelantan child bride case for sexual grooming
18 September 2018

We refer to the latest child bride case in Kelantan involving a 15 year old child and a 44 year old man.

In an appalling response, the Deputy Prime Minister gave excuses as to why child marriages are taking place and claimed that Putrajaya is powerless to intervene.

This response from the DPM will be a licence for paedophiles around the country to groom, persuade or coerce children into ‘marriage’ for the purpose of having sexual intercourse with them.

Instead of claiming that she can do nothing, the DPM must ensure that there is an immediate police investigation into whether sexual grooming contrary to the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017 (SOAC) has taken place.

There is strong basis for a police probe on child grooming, as reports state that this child had known the 44 year old man for ‘several months’ before marriage. There was thus opportunity for grooming to have taken place. During the ‘several months’ he knew her, it was surely his purpose to eventually have sexual relations with the child.

Any person who follows, watches or contacts a child for sexual purposes has committed the offence of grooming under section 12 of the SOAC 2017.

The fact that this man later contracted a marriage under the Sharia law, does not absolve him from the crime of grooming.

What is clear now is that paedophiles are actively taking advantage of the failure of the DPM and Women’s Minister to take decisive action in the earlier case of the 11year old child bride.

In that case, the DPM was evasive and ineffective throughout, while the case dragged on for months before the child was secretly packed off to Thailand.

The failure to take action against the pervert ‘husband’ in that case by Wan Azizah and her Ministry has been an advertisement to other paedophiles that they can get away with it in Malaysia.

Encouraged by the passivity of the Women’s Ministry, paedophiles are now clearly using ‘marriage’ as a shield to prevent prosecution for rape or sexual grooming.

This puts the children of this country, particularly Muslim children, in constant danger from perverts and paedophiles.

We urge an immediate police probe in this case and an end to child marriages in Malaysia.

Released by:
Latheefa Koya
Executive Director,
Lawyers for Liberty