This alert goes out specifically to the non-Muslim women voters of Shah Alam.
I am sure most, if not all, of you who are married did not enter into pre-nuptial agreements prior to taking your marriage vows.
I guess it’s still not a done thing here.
We all get married believing that this union will be ’til death do us part’.
For a host of reasons, though, things don’t always work out that way, and for some, the marriage ends in divorce.
When this happens, you then have to go through the agony of consulting lawyers to know what your rights are.
Family and divorce law was never my area of legal practise but, as I understand it, where a non-Muslim marriage ends in divorce, except for certain circumstances, such as adultery on the part of the woman, ex-husbands will be required to pay the ex-wife maintenance.
For how long?
Until she re-marries or dies.
Family law practitioners, please correct me if I have erred in any detail here.
Compare this with a divorce involving a Muslim couple.
The maintenance ( nafkah ) to be paid by the man to his ex-wife is for a far shorter duration, extending, if I am not mistaken, for a period of 3 months from the date of divorce.
Syariah practitioners, please correct me if I have fallen into error here.
Following the controversy of the Moorthy ( the Mount Everest climber ) case in December 2005 where the widow and the Islamic religious authorities went to court for the right to perform burial rights and a determination of his professed religion at the time of his death ( the widow to the civil High Court, JAWI to the Syariah Court ), Pak Lah directed the AG’s Chambers to look into the existing law and to see what amendments needed to be done so as to avoid the perennial conflicts of jurisdiction between those two courts.
The AG’s Chambers held a series of consultative meetings with groups interested, including the women NGOs, who brought up, amongst others, a concern that some men who had entered into civil marriages but now wanted a divorce, purported to embrace Islam in the hope that if they could get the civil marriage ended in the Syariah Court, they might benefit from a ‘Syariah’ type order of maintenance, that is one of a much shorter duration.
Both Zul and I were then members of the Syariah law committee of the Bar Council.
To my utter horror, one of the proposed amendments that emerged from the AG’s Chambers was to the Law Reform ( Marriage and Divorce ) Act, 1976.
The civil courts had previously affirmed that where one party to a civil marriage converted to Islam, the ending of that marriage could only be done in the civil courts.
The proposed amendment would not change this.
What it would do, though, is provide that where the converting spouse was the man, any order of maintenance, pursuant to an order ending the marriage by the civil court, would be confined to the period prescribed under Syariah.
I strongly opposed this proposed amendment when it came before the Syariah law cammittee.
Guess who rose to vehemently defend it?
Sleazeball, bigot Zul.
We had a blazing row in that meeting.
Thankfully, owing to the intervention of other quarters who I shall not name, except in a court of law should this low life decide to sue, this proposal never saw the light of day.
How did Anwar describe him?
And this man now wants to represent you in Parliament?
You deserve what’s coming to you if your vote lands him in Parliament!!!