Saturday, February 10, 2007

Perlis To 'Curb Social Ills' By Relaxing Polygamy Rules!

It’s now easier for Muslims outside Perlis to marry a second, third, or fourth wife in the state. They no longer have to change their address on their identity cards.

State Housing, Local Government and Environment exco Azihani Ali said the move was to curb social ills such as abandoned babies and the spread of HIV. "All they have to do is to solemnise and register their union like any first-time marriage," she said, adding that the move would also lead to a "healthy" increase in population.

Azihani said the decision was made during the weekly exco meeting chaired by Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.

Earlier, Muslim men risked a fine of RM2,000 if they married again in the state without changing their address.

Other states have strict regulations governing polygamy which require the permission of the first wife and change of address in the IC.

On imam, she said the state government was upgrading 50 of them to become "kadi" so that they could solemnise marriages. "But the relaxed conditions do not mean we are blindly encouraging Muslim men to take second, third or fourth wives. They must adhere to Islamic law and ensure their spouses are given their due rights. "For instance the first and second wives have a right to their family’s shared earnings."

Meanwhile, Shahidan said Perlis will continue with raids on khalwat (close proximity) but without resorting to spying or any other embarrassing methods. He said the state government was strictly against prying into people’s privacy and embarrassing those caught for allegedly committing khalwat during raids.

Instead, he said the state government wanted religious authorities to focus on offenders who openly committed wrongful acts. "We want to stop offenders who openly commit acts of sin as they are challenging the faith. We don’t want to pry into what goes behind hotel bedroom doors. Knocking on closed doors is not the answer to curbing unlawful behaviour. We must catch those who commit unlawful acts openly," he said.

Shahidan is also mulling the idea of amending the state religious law on enforcement methods to ensure the dignity of those caught and questioned for khalwat offences, based on the principle of "innocent until proven guilty".

The Perlis Menteri Besar is also in agreement with state mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin who had stressed that snooping and embarrassing suspects was against the teachings of Islam, and would project the religion in a bad light.

Shahidan said authorities had a responsibility to focus on the big picture of upholding morals values. "We must act against all immoral acts and not be selective such as focusing on a single offence. We must prevent immoral acts in a fair manner and not embarrass people while doing it," he added.

He also said khalwat raids must not be conducted with malice in mind.

Shahidan said this after the "Seminar Tangkap Basah Peringkat Negeri Perlis", a seminar to address khalwat raids, at Dewan 2020 here yesterday. (NST)

***** While the new modus operandi on khalwat raids at least sounds reasonable, I'm not sure whether relaxing rules on polygamy is the best way to 'curb social ills.' What do you think?
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4 Comments:

Blogger MarinaM said...

This only displays the ignorance of politicians about HIV/AIDS. If anyone thinks that the virus takes into account marriage certificates before it enters anyone's body, they must really be stupid.If HIV is present, marriage is no protection, multiple marriages (which simply means multiple legal sexual partners) even less so.

In some states, there are mandatory premarital HIV testing for Muslim couples getting married. This doesn't work either for prevention (for full explanation, please see my blog rantingsbymm.blogspot.com) but it does recognise that HIV doesn't differentiate between legal and illegal sex. As long as it's unsafe, that is, it allows for infected fluids to transfer from one person to another, the chances are high that infection will occur.

3:19 PM GMT+8  
Blogger MarinaM said...

And oh, for God's sake, a Seminar Tangkap Basah Peringkat Negeri Perlis? Aren't they even embarassed to have a banner proclaiming that?

3:21 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous mich said...

aiyaya, to prevent more abandoned babies or HIV spread is more effective by giving condoms away, promote safe sex.

6:45 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Outsider said...

Right on, Marinam. China's emperors had thousands of wives and concubines but that did not prevent some of some from contracting STD. What makes State Housing, Local Government and Environment exco Azihani Ali think three or four wives will do the trick?

10:50 AM GMT+8  

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