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PAS Urged To Respect Women’s Choices: Delayed Nuptials Irrelevant To Polygamy – Saw Yee Fung

MCA Youth secretary general Saw Yee Fung says Tuan Ibrahim would have garnered praise if he had urged tardy ex-husbands who abandoned their spouses and minor children, and failed to pay court-ordered alimony and maintenance, to be responsible.

It is regrettable that PAS deputy chairman Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, who is the Kubang Kerian MP, had suggested polygamy as a solution for women marrying late in life. 

Targeting women, his proposal is demeaning and puts a spanner towards efforts to empower women.

Financial dilemmas, a lack of a suitable partner, building up one’s career, work commitments, or filial piety might be among reasons that women and men do not jump into a wedding.

Society is no judge to place judgement on both females and males, who for reasons known to themselves, either exchange nuptial vows late in life, delay marriage, or remain single.

Getting betrothed late in life is not a phenomenon relegated to women in Malaysia solely, as men too have reasons for tying the knot late in life, or opting for bachelorhood. 

Whether an individual marries as a young adult, or late in life, this is a matter (and should be a matter) of personal choice as maturity is required.

While respecting that Syariah law permits polygamy by Muslim males, Tuan Ibrahim could have been dissociated with the sexism of yore had he encouraged husbands to be responsible and faithful to their wives and children and work towards a lasting marriage.

He would have garnered praise if he had urged tardy ex-husbands who abandoned their spouses and minor children, and failed to pay court-ordered alimony and maintenance, to be responsible.

He may have endeared himself to Malaysian women had he called on the government to introduce policies and programmes to encourage entrepreneurship among women, in particular, micro-business schemes for destitute women in rural areas, or to urge lawmakers to table a Bill to outlaw child marriages and ensure that minor children, especially from lower B40 or single-parent households are not deprived of an education.

There are more serious issues which Tuan Ibrahim could have called on the government to address, for example, tackling unemployment among fresh graduates, rising prices of essentials, inflation, and overcoming the economic downturn which affects both genders, rather than a preposterous proposal that appears to be a Freudian slip masking a justification to satisfy male lust.

Saw Yee Fung is MCA Youth secretary-general.

  • This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Ova.

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