I am excited to share that my peer-reviewed article, “Between Intention & Implementation: Recent Legal Reforms on Child Marriage in Contemporary Malaysia”, has just been published in Journal of Legal Anthropology.
This article analyzes news reports of a child marriage scandal in 2018 involving a 41-year-old polygynous man who married an 11-year-old girl as his third wife in the small town of Sungai Golok, situated at the Malaysian-Thai border. I trace the divided political debates that ensued, with some federal-level Malaysian authorities calling for an increase in the minimum age for marriage girls in the Islamic family law enactments, while others arguing for the preservation of existing marriage laws allowing girls to be married at the age of 16 — or younger, with the permission of her wali (male guardian) and a Shari’ah (Islamic) judge. With this article, I hope to shed light on some of the political and legal challenges in implementing reforms in the Islamic family law enactments on marriage.
This paper is available on open access through this link. If you would like to discuss the article, or are experiencing trouble accessing the article, please get in touch.