Hannah Yeoh: Others Not Pulling Weight in Child Bride Case

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Sharing her one-month observation of working directly under Dr Wan Azizah’s leadership, Yeoh lauds her kindness and says the heart of a doctor would overshadow all the other roles her boss carries.

Following backlash against Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail over the Kelantan child bride case, her deputy in the Women and Family Development Ministry Hannah Yeoh has revealed that other ministries and agencies are also culpable.

The Segambut MP said the deputy prime minister’s “utmost priority” in the next few weeks is to protect the 11-year-old girl who was married off to a man four times her age, even “at the expense of her own reputation”.

Azneal Ishak

“While I admit criticism on the speed of handling the 11-year-old child bride issue, I would also like you to know that we are dependant on other ministries to do their part,” Yeoh said in a Facebook post.

However, she does not wish to publicly shame those ministries and agencies, since correction has to be made internally, re-training is needed for the civil service, and improvement has to be made as soon as possible.

“In these weeks, I can assure you that her utmost priority is to protect that child even at the expense of her own reputation,” she added.

The issue of child marriage surfaced after the report on the marriage of a 41-year-old local man with an 11-year-old Thai girl in Gua Musang, Kelantan, went viral last June.

Dr Wan Azizah had said that the Attorney-General’s Chambers needs more evidence before bringing a criminal case against the husband, a rubber trader.

The dismal response has been criticised by women’s groups, who proceeded to provide four so-called evidence against the man.

Yesterday, minister in charge of Islamic affairs Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa said the law that states Muslim women and men can get married at the age of 16 and 18 respectively provided that they have the permission from the court will likely be abolished in the future.

Yeoh has previously told Malay Mail that Pakatan Harapan has no excuse to not raise the marriage age, since it was part of its election manifesto. – Malay Mail