Groups push for mediation in family cases

  • Nation
  • Monday, 03 Nov 2003

KUALA LUMPUR: Legal associations want it to be compulsory to apply the mediation concept to settle family cases, said Kepong Women and Family Development Council deputy chairman Yasmeen Shariff. 

“We are pushing for it and the relevant laws have to be amended to make it compulsory,” she said yesterday during the Legal Literacy Programme and Women’s Day celebration for the constituency. One of the legal associations is the Association of Women Lawyers. 

She said the mediation concept involved referring parties to a trained mediator.  

“They go through the mediation process and can give vent to their feelings. The mediator will encourage them to come up with solutions. And then an order will be recorded and taken to court,” she added. 

She said that mediation could be a “win-win” situation with parties reaching a better and cheaper agreement in a shorter time. 

Yasmeen said women needed to empower themselves with the necessary information on their legal rights, especially when it came to family matters,  

“The Government has put sufficient laws in place but the women don’t know about them. Most times, they feel helpless and they must get out of this mindset,” she said. 

She cited cases of Hindu women who did not think of the civil marriage registration as legal but only as an engagement while seeing the traditional ceremony as the legitimate one. 

“It is a very serious matter because subsequently there will be other problems like their children not having birth certificates and then they cannot go to school,” she said. 

For enquiries, call Yasmeen at 03-2693 3276/77.  

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