Woman burnt for seeking divorce


  • Letters
  • Thursday, 20 Mar 2003

A MAN doused his wife with petrol before torching her and his house because she asked for divorce, Utusan Malaysia reported. 

Ismail Othman, 40, later took weedkiller in an apparent suicide attempt at Felda Serting Satu, Jempul in Negri Sembilan on Tuesday, the paper said in a front-page report. 

It said his wife, Rahmah Talib, 39, who suffered serious burns, died at the Kuala Pilah Hospital at 6.45pm that day while he died at the same hospital at 5.30am the next day. 

Two of the man’s stepsons also suffered burns in the incident and have been warded. 

Berita Harian played up the reaction from political leaders and non-government organisations over the “One husband, one wife” campaign launched by 12 women NGOs.  

It quoted Puteri Umno’s legal bureau chairman Shahaniza Shamsudin as saying there should not be any question on men's right to take on another wife under syariah law.  

She said that Islam, which had laws and guidelines over the matter, allowed polygamy. 

The daily quoted Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil as saying that her ministry was not involved in the campaign. 

But she defended the campaign, saying it aimed to promote a different lifestyle and not to put aside Islamic law.  

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