‘SMS divorce an insult to women’

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 27 Jul 2003


KUALA LUMPUR: The manner of pronouncing divorce through short messaging system (SMS) is an insult to women although the Syariah Court has ruled that it is permissible, Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil said. 

”If the wedding is carried out in a respectful manner, a divorce should also be carried out the same way,” she told reporters after presenting excellent service awards to 62 ministry staff and special awards to 24 children of the staff for doing well in last year's SPM and PMR.  

Shahrizat was asked to comment on a Syariah Court landmark ruling on Thursday that a divorce declared via SMS was valid, provided it was verified in court. 

Gombak Timur Syariah judge Mohamad Fauzi Ismail had ruled that the 18-month marriage between Azida Fazlina Abdul Latif and Shamsudin Latif was annulled when Shamsudin sent Azida Fazlina an SMS stating “Kalau engkau tak keluar dari rumah mak bapak engkau, jatuh talak tiga (If you do not leave your parents’ house, you would be divorced).” 

Shahrizat said using SMS was not the best way to divorce a wife even though it was valid. “This should not be encouraged.”  

A housewife who called The Star to express her dissatisfaction over the matter said that it was shameful for a man to resort to SMS to divorce his wife. 

“He is not a gentleman. It is a selfish act especially if it is over a petty thing. This will set a precedent for other men who have no guts to solve their problems face to face,” she said, adding that it was an easy way out for the man. 

Pensioner Mohd Saiful Bahrin said Islam taught its followers to be sensible when making a decision as important as this. 

“There is a verse in the Quran which states that if a husband wants to divorce his wife, he should do it in a suitable manner,” he said. 

He added that even though it was the man’s right to pronounce talak, he should not abuse it.  

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