When we were little, our parents would ask us who do we love more, “mommy or daddy?” It looks like the infamous 41-year-old Kelantanese man who married an 11-year-old girl last month was cornered to answer a more difficult question. According to Malay Mail which based its report on New York Times, Che Abdul Karim was asked to choose between his new child bride Ayu or his first two wives who bore many of his children.
The two wives had made a pack against Abdul Karim. The resistance came after the second wife Siti Noor Azilah said his husband had stopped providing to her family with four children. More worrying, one of the children she had with Abdul Karim even suffered from Spina Bifida, a condition whereby a baby’s spine and spinal cord didn’t develop properly in the womb and caused a gap in the spine.
Siti told the US daily, “He is so stingy with us, but he has enough money to get married to Ayu and take her on holiday.
“Their father never took care of them, he doesn’t even like children.”
“Except one, that Ayu.”
Despite getting approved by Malaysian authorities on his child marriage, Abdul Karim was in hot water against the rest of the world. The second wife who made known of this fiasco to the world said she had to work as a baker to make ends meet. She had given her husband an ultimatum to choose between his new love or the two wives and their children that stuck with him for many years.
“We have said to him, it is us or that girl.
“We said, you choose. You cannot have all three of us,” Siti related.
‘From best friends to become my stepmother’
While it’s weird enough for some families to have an uncle or aunt younger than his or her niece, this family had it worse because some of the older (than 11-year-old) children had to call their father’s new wife “stepmother”.
New York Times highlighted this on the first wife Nuraini Che Nawi’s 14-year-old daughter Norazila who reportedly used to be a best friend to Ayu. Instead of an egalitarian friendship, now Norazila had to address Ayu as “stepmother.”
“My best friend is my stepmother now.
“It doesn’t make any sense,” said Norazila.
It would make sense if it’s a joke coming from an American comedy where the daddy looked so good that a best friend of his daughter wanted to sleep with him. Sadly, this is no laughing matter for Norazila.
‘Abdul Karim is a good man’
While the government lamented their inability to stop or better regulate child marriage due to Sharia and state law, Kuala Betis mosque imam Sayed Noordin claimed that Abdul Karim was a good Muslim and justified his child marriage.
“In Islamic procedure, as long as a bride agrees, her parents agree and the girl has had her menstrual period, then a marriage is OK,” said Sayed Noordin
“Che Karim is a good Muslim, he always comes for prayer, and he is a responsible man.”