Study: 30% of Felda settlers have more than one wife

  • Letters
  • Tuesday, 04 Mar 2003

From the Malay Press

UTUSAN Malaysia reported that a study by the Land and Co-operative Development Ministry found that about 30% of Felda settlers have more than one wife. 

Quoting parliamentary secretary Dr Robia Kosai, the report said that as a result of this, problems arose when it came to the distribution of family wealth after the death of a husband. 

She said the issue of divorced wives had become such a problem that the ministry had to compel the husband to name his wife or wives as beneficiaries in the land title. 

In a related article, the paper also reported that an average of 90 Malaysian couples got married in southern Thailand each month. 

Quoting an official from the Narathiwat Islamic Religious Council, the paper said one-third of the marriages were related to polygamy, another third were solemnised in the presence of authorised guardians (wali) while the rest were either married without the presence of the wali or involved couples who had not sought any kind of approval from their parents or the Malaysian religious authorities. 

In a report in its Keluarga (Family) page, the daily quoted the council’s registrar of marriage, divorce and reconciliation Ishak Mohammad as saying that some marriages had to be solemnised as a last resort because the couple had “gone too far” or the woman had become pregnant. 

The mainstream Malay papers, of late, had been carrying various reports on border marriages, giving a picture that, contrary to popular notion, it was not easy to get married in Thailand.  

Berita Harian front-paged a report that the Indonesian government has temporarily frozen permits for its citizens to work in Malaysia and other countries. The freeze is for two months, beginning this month. 

The newspaper reported that Jakarta was disappointed over alleged cases of employers who mistreated their maids, such as preventing Muslim maids from performing prayers and forcing them to serve pork. There were also alleged cases of outraging their modesty.  

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