11-year-old bride and 41-year-old groom defend their union

KOTA BARU - Amid the massive outcry over her marriage to a 41-year-old man, the child bride at the centre of the controversy wonders what the fuss is all about.

The 11-year-old could not fathom why “other people” were upset over her marriage to the Malaysian man.

Despite being caught in the spotlight over the controversial marriage solemnised in Thailand, the girl said she would not leave her “Abe” (Abang) for as long as he wished to keep her as his third wife.

“I don’t know why people are angry. I will only live with him when I am much older.

“He is a nice man ... he is kind,” said the child, whose parents are migrants from Thailand.

The girl believes she is in love with the man, whom she has known for a “long time”.

The groom said he was only engaged in a “suspended marriage”.

“I will have our marriage registered in Malaysia when she turns 16. Until then, she will be living with her parents.

“I take all the hurtful comments in the various media seriously. I am looking into taking legal action to protect my family from being a target of unwarranted personal attacks,” he said.

Saying that he was obligated to protect his family, the self-proclaimed imam added: “She is my family now. I married her in Thai­land because she is a Thai national.

“I also sought the advice of religious people before tying the knot.”

Meanwhile, the Kelantan police dismissed allegations of paedophilia against the groom.

Kelantan deputy CPO Datuk Din Ahmad said it was not a police case because there were no criminal elements.

“However, the religious authorities are investigating because the marriage took place without the prior consent (of the Syariah Court),” he said.

Din also confirmed that the man’s second wife lodged a police report in Gua Musang yesterday.