Latest law reforms only apply to marriages dissolved when spouse converts to Islam

TASEK GELUGOR, 14 Aug 2017: 

Muslim married couples are not bound by the  Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) (Amendment) Bill 2017 or Act 164 which was passed by the Parliament last Thursday, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom.

He said the law would only be applicable for dissolution of marriage involving non-Muslim couples – whose marriage was registered at the Civil Court and one of them later converted to Islam.

“Prior to this, when one of the non-Muslim couple convert to Islam, the marriage cannot be dissolved and this can hurt many parties.”

Jamil Khir said the law was only applicable for dissolution of marriage – whereby after the marriage had been dissolved, matters pertaining to the faith and religion of the wife or husband who is a Muslim would come under the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court.

The bill was tabled to replace the same bill which was tabled in November last year.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, when winding up the debate on the bill, had said the amendment aimed to room for couples who married and had converted to Islam – or one of them who is still a Muslim – to file a petition for the dissolution of the marriage in the civil court.

She said it was to avoid action by either the husband, or wife – who did not want to terminate the marriage – but did not execute any responsibility towards the spouse, their children or properties.

– Bernama

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