KUCHING, Nov 5 ― Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem today announced an RM2 million fund for battered women to file for divorce from their abusive husbands.
“The fund is for the women to go to the lawyers to seek justice from the court against their (abusive) husbands,” he said at the launch of the state level Women’s Day celebration at the Indoor Stadium here today.
He said the fund will help women to divorce their abusive husbands and seek maintenance for themselves and their children.
“The time has come for us to put a stop to men abusing their wives,” Adenan said, adding that he would increase the amount of the fund if it was not enough.
He noted that there have been growing cases of domestic violence against women in Sarawak over the past years.
“I am very concerned about the increasing cases of abuses against women,” he said.
Adenan also urged women to be more assertive in demanding for their rights.
“In the years to come, I would like to see women to organise themselves and be more assertive in demanding for their rights because women rights are also human rights,” he added.
Adenan also urged federal Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Datuk Seri Rohani Karim to make amends to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 on the issue of foreign nationals who married and later left behind their Malaysian wives.
He said problems arise when the local women want to file for divorce proceedings and seek maintenance from their foreign husbands.
“If a woman is married to a man from England and later on wants to seek a divorce and maintenance from her husband, she has to go to the English court,” he said, adding that it is rather unfair to the woman.
“I do hope that Rohani can do something to make amends for this problem because we cannot expect the woman to go to England to file divorce proceedings and seek maintenance from her husband,” Adenan said.