When Che Abdul Karim Che Abdul Hamid decided to marry his third wife in Thailand, he chose an 11-year-old girl who was handed over by her Malaysian family. The problem however was that this particular marriage to a child of eleven is that it was not approved by the local Shariah court. Besides being a rubber scrap dealer, Che Abdul Karim is an imam. The girl’s father works for him as poor rubber tappers. His third wife will not attend school now that she is an 11-year-old bride.
Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail declared the marriage was illegal for the same reason — not due to the child bride by the absence of approval from the Islamic Sharia court.
Che Abdul Karim insisted that the marriage was perfectly moral to this child and he was going to wait until she is 16 before consummating the marriage.
The view of the marriage as illegal due only to the absence of proper Islamic certification is a glimpse into the plight of these young girls.