In February 28, Riduan Masmud shocked the nation after he was charged with raping a 13-year-old girl, and saw no wrong to it.
However, just has just declared that he had married her and took her as his second wife. The 40-year-old restaurant managed defended his action, saying it was a case of suka sama suka (mutual consent), and added that it was acceptable under the Syariah Law.
At the Sessions Court, Riduan told reporters that he had known the girl for about six months and felt he had the right to marry an underage girl.
“There are many cases of men marrying underage girls. I do not see why my case should be any different,” said the father to the four children, aged between two and 17. He declined to reveal the genders of his children.
The girl withdrew the rape report against the man as it was her aunt who lodged the report after she found out about the affair.
Riduan said he would let his child-bride finish her studies first and “maybe later take up a cosmetic course with my first wife”. He added that his wife is a make-up artist.
His wife told the press she had accepted the teenage to be her husband’s second wife and promised to guide her through her studies. The girl’s father also spoke out, saying that he accepts his daughter’s marriage to Riduan.
Counsel Loretto J. Padua informed the court that the Syariah marriage certificates had been presented to the investigating officer and confirmed that the two were now married. (Source)
Meanwhile, a women’s group in Sabah are unhappy with the 40-year-old rapist marrying his victim. “In Sabah, more than 50% of the rape cases involve underage girls.
“This case is part of a worrying trend in which older men proposed marriage after being charged with statutory rape to circumvent the mandatory provisions of the Penal Code,” group adviser Mary Lee said.
Sisters in Islam, meanwhile, said Malaysia must address the recent rise in child brides. “As reported by Unicef, girls who marry young are more vulnerable to violence and sexual abuse by their partners than those who marry later,” it said. (Source)