PETALING JAYA: A Muslim mother is only entitled to six months of financial assistance from the RM15mil special allocation the Government has set up for those whose husbands have ignored maintenance orders issued by the court.
The Syariah Judicial Department Family Support Division deputy director Dr Mohd Naim Mokhtar Dr Mohd Naim said women who have been divorced for many years and never received a single sen from their former spouses were eligible for the cash advances.
“They are entitled to the exact amount in the maintenance order issued by the Syariah Court every month, up to a maximum of six months,” he said.
On Jan 11, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom announced that the Government had approved an allocation of RM15mil to help Muslim women who were going through divorce to support their children.
The aid would be in the form of temporary advances, in cases where the father refuses to comply with the maintenance order.
Women in this predicament, said Dr Mohd Naim, were also eligible for assistance from the zakat collection centre and the Welfare department.
As to who would repay the money disbursed, he said the errant husbands would.
Dr Mohd Naim Mokhtar said the division could seize and sell property belonging to them regardless of where they were because all the states had amended their respective Administration of Islamic Law enactment to allow for the execution of court orders issued in another state.
Other methods include garnishing – a court order by which the division can obtain payment from a third party whom in fact owes or holds money for the debtor (in this case, the father).
In extreme cases, he said they could also apply to commit the father to prison until he complies with the maintenance order.
“The fund does not mean husbands can shirk their responsibilities and leave it to the Government to take care of their families,” he said.
Dr Mohd Naim said it was crucial to obtain a maintenance order from the Syariah court first.
He said a mother should then lodge a complaint with the division if the father ignored the order, for the enforcement process and disbursal of the aid to take place.