KUALA LUMPUR: Men who convert to Islam and dissolve their marriages from when they were of a different faith should not shirk their responsibilities under civil law, says Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.
"If you are a real man, then (carry out the) divorce properly. Why do you want to be afraid? You can't run and hide behind the syariah court judge.
"What about the wife, children and other matters?" said the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of law during the debate on the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) (Amendment) Bill 2017 (LRA) in Parliament Wednesday.
She was responding to Kuala Nerus MP Datuk Dr Khairuddin Aman Razali, who said that although there was an expectation that converted men would be answerable to both courts, this was not realistic.
Azalina said that she understood Dr Khairuddin's point of view, but added that the converted men should not be allowed to leave their families in a lurch.
She stressed that it was wrong to convert to Islam and run away from their responsibilities such as paying alimony.
"The amendments do not deny a convert his rights under Islamic law, but encourage him to be a gentleman and settle his responsibility," said the Pengerang MP.
The Bill was passed at 12.45am Thursday.
Law Reform Bill passed early Thursday