Ministry to look into autistic man’s arrest: Wan Azizah

SEPANG: The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry will look into the arrest of an autistic man to facilitate investigation into a molest case, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said today.

Reacting to reports on the arrest of a 22-year-old autistic man when met by reporters after she had launched Taska Krista@RedQ, a childcare centre at AirAsia headquarters here, Wan Azizah, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister, said there should be further understanding of autism and its effects on a person.

“The mother has explained that he (the accused) has the mental age of a 13-year-old. We should leave the matter to the court to understand the condition of autism (how it will affect) as the child grows up,” she said.

It was reported that the autistic man was detained following a report made by the victim on Sept 11.

Police had applied for a remand order against him to facilitate investigation but the application was rejected by the Petaling Jaya Court on Sept 12.

He is being investigated under Section 354 of the Penal Code for the outrage of modesty.

On another case, of marriage involving an underage girl in Kelantan, reported today, Wan Azizah said the Welfare Department had sent officers to meet the girl and her parents.

She also said that the government was in the process of raising the legal age of marriage to 18.

“We have laws to define the matter, (and) we (also) have the Syariah court. We need to follow the state laws too,” she said.

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It was reported that a 15-year-old girl had married a 44-year-old People's Volunteer Corps (Rela) member, who is a father of two. The girl is the man's second wife.

The union was approved by the Syariah Court. The “akad nikah” (solemnisation of vows) took place at the Masjid Kampung Laut in Tumpat in July. Her parents said poverty drove them into giving their consent to their youngest daughter's marriage with the man, 29 years her senior. — Bernama

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