Perlis state government and Islamic Council must not encourage non-compliance of laws and dishonesty in marriages

Media Statement
by Chong Eng

(Penang, Tuesday): DAP Women calls on the Perlis state government and Islamic Council to be fair to all parties, particularly the rights of the first wife in the issue of polygamy.

We are of opinion that muslim men who intent to practice polygamy must meet all requirements including obtaining permission from their first wife or current wives.

Muslim men who chose to have their second, third or fourth marriages  registered outside Malaysia with the whole purpose of evading permission or hiding from their first or current wives clearly showed that they have no  respect for existing laws as well as their marriage contracts with their first wife or current wives.

The action of the Perlis state government and the Islamic Council in abolishing the requirement to obtain the permission of first wife for muslim men to practice polygamy is tantamount to encouraging non-compliance of laws
and breach of marriages contracts as well as dishonesty.

We are of the view that muslim men who intent to practise polygamy must have the courage and capability to persuade their first wives or current wives to give her or their consents. If they were incapable of doing so, they would not be able to ensure harmony in the family in future. They are therefore not advisable to practise polygamy

To allow this type of muslim men to practise polygamy by abolishing the  requirement to obtain first wife¡¯s permission would mean creating family problems. The recent happening in the family of  former deputy prime
minister Tun Ghafar Baba illustrated that polygamy, even with the consent of the first wife, can create many problems.

Minister in the Prime Minister Department Datuk Abdul Hamid Zainal Abiddin  had has in last December advised that  monogamy is the best system for muslims. He said that polygamy could destroy many families. His advice
should be applied to all states including Trenggaun and Perlis.


* Chong Eng,  DAP Women Chairperson and Member of Parliament for Bukit Mertajam