Hard ‘no’ to PAS’ polygamy proposal

PETALING JAYA: PAS deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man’s suggestion that Muslim men should turn to polygamy to resolve the issue of unmarried Muslim women has come under fire from various parties including single Muslim women.

Lawyer Siti Kasim said there were more important national issues that should be raised in Parliament by the Kubang Kerian MP.

“This is the problem when we elect people who have no knowledge capital except to talk about irrelevant matters,” she said when contacted yesterday.

In the meantime, she added, the rakyat are suffering through high prices and stagnant wages among others.

ALSO READ: Muslim men should marry more than one woman to solve late marriage issue, says Tuan Ibrahim

Siti said Tuan Ibrahim should apologise to all women and men for thinking that they have the same mentality as PAS.

“But of course he won’t,” she scoffed.

The Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) said before promoting polygamy, there is a need to ensure that men must first know their responsibility to their wives in a shared partnership and in raising children.

“In any family or marriage issue, it is important to always ensure that the household’s needs are fulfilled, especially towards the more vulnerable group of women and children.

ALSO READ: Yeo Bee Yin slams Tuan Ibrahim for 'sexist' polygamy remarks

“This includes material, psychological and emotional needs,” it said.

WAO also cited Telenisa findings by Sisters In Islam (SIS), which showed that the top four reasons for Muslim divorces were the same between 2016 and 2022.

The four reasons were communication problems, domestic violence, husbands not providing maintenance and infidelity or affair.

Except in 2020, communication breakdown was replaced by the joint category of financial problems and polygamy, WAO noted.

ALSO READ: Tuan Ibrahim says polygamy permitted in Islam, not PAS’ teaching

“We have to ensure women have the choice and freedom to choose what is best for their lives and empower them in every aspect. Our policy and culture should always aim to protect women from any form of violence.

“Men must also be made to understand that women are not merely to be wed and have children, we are whole individuals deserving of respect and equal partnership free of violence in all forms including financial and psychological,” it added.

On Wednesday, Tuan Ibrahim said in Dewan Rakyat that allowing polygamy for Muslim men could be a way to address the issue of Muslim women marrying late in life.

ALSO READ: PAS leader slammed over polygamy call

When debating the 2024 Supply Bill for the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, the former Cabinet minister pointed out that if a man was capable, qualified and fair, then he must be given moral support to take another wife.

Meanwhile, single women hit out at Tuan Ibrahim for his remarks.

Content writer Husna Karim, 34, said unmarried women are “not a problem to solve”.

“But if he wants to solve a problem, then he could focus on solving the issue of job opportunities for the youth as many young people wish to marry but are hampered by the high cost of living.

“Getting married also does not mean that it’s better as sometimes it doesn’t work out and could end in divorce and broken families.

“Leave us alone... we are happy and content with our lives,” she said.

A civil servant who only wanted to be known as Amirah, 36, said polygamy could break up existing marriages.

“Not everyone wants to be a second, third or fourth wife.

“We are unmarried because we are happy being single.

“We are active contributors to the economy and society as we have jobs and roles in our communities,” she said.

Syazwani Zul, 26, said late marriage should not have been brought up in Parliament.

“Cost of living is the top concern, and there are so many other issues of national interest to be raised,” she said.

Yesterday, Tuan Ibrahim chided Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin for implying, in a post on social media, that polygamy is a teaching of PAS.

“Polygamy is not a teaching of PAS but is permitted in Islamic law,” he told reporters in Parliament.

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