PAS to moot more changes to marriage amendment Bill before it reaches senate


Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 11 — PAS will moot further changes to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act amendments that have been passed by the Dewan Rakyat recently.

PAS information chief Nasrudin Hassan said that this will be done before the Bill reaches the senate.

He said in a statement that PAS will arrange to meet Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman to discuss the proposed amendments which would “protect Islam and its followers”.

The amendments, known as Act 164 was passed by Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday despite controversy surrounding Putrajaya’s decision to remove an earlier clause in the Bill that prevents unilateral conversion.

PAS were among the parties that demanded that the clause on unilateral conversion be removed from the Bill, but also wanted further amendments in the interest of Islam.It became the only party that attempted to get a block vote going for the amendments being passed, but could not do so as it did not have sufficient amount of parliamentarians.

“PAS will also use the Dewan Negara platform through its senator to urge the government to look into holistic amendments to Act 164, so that they take into account the views of PAS and Islamic jurisprudence experts,” Nasrudin said.

The amendment Bill passed at the lower house essentially allows civil courts to hear cases of divorce between Muslim converts and their non-Muslim spouses.

Previously, Muslim converts filed their divorce cases at Shariah Courts, creating an impasse between the civil and Islamic court system, especially when it came to issues pertaining custody and religion of children of a recent convert and a non-Muslim spouse.

Clause 88A in the Bill had previously stated that consent of both parents are needed for the conversion of a minor, but clause was removed following pressure from Islamic groups including PAS.