Dewan Negara passes Act 164 (Amendment) Bill, says Azalina

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 21 — The Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) (Amendment) Bill 2017 which is aimed at amending the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 or (Act 164) does not deny the power of the Syariah courts against those who embrace Islam or converts.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said the amendment only provided the opportunity for converts to dissolve their marriages through civil proceedings, as the existing provision did not apply to them.

“Apart from that, the marriage of a person prior to him/her embracing Islam under Act 164 should also be dissolved under the same act.

“Hence, the question of the power of the Syariah court been taken away with the amendment of the Bill, does not arise,” she said when winding up the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) (Amendment) Bill 2017 at the Dewan Negara here today.

The bill was then approved by the Dewan Negara. Read more

The online abuse hurled at Malaysia’s Muslim women

Source: BBC News 

When a 15-year-old Malaysian girl voiced her dream of becoming the country’s first female prime minister on Twitter earlier this year, she was roundly abused online for not donning the hijab. Surekha Ragavan asks if Malay Muslim women encounter more rage on social media.

It’s no secret that women everywhere are vulnerable to abuse online. In Malaysia, women of all races face abuse, but activists say Muslim women are particularly targeted because of certain societal expectations.

“We are seeing a trend where Muslim women [particularly Malay-Muslims] are targeted in a different way, especially when it comes to how they present themselves,” says Juana Jaafar, a women’s rights advocate who followed the case of the 15-year-old girl. Ms Jaafar says the attacks became so brutal for the girl, she was forced to delete her account and seek help offline.

“Certainly if you have a Malay name, you become immediately visible.” Read more

Federal Court grants stay on ‘bin Abdullah’ ruling

Source: The Malay Mail Online

PUTRAJAYA, Aug 21 — The Federal Court today stayed a lower court’s ruling that allowed a Muslim child conceived outside marriage to take his father’s name instead of a ‘bin Abdullah’ patronym, pending the Johor religious authority’s bid to intervene in the case.

Chief Justice Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif, who chaired a three-judge panel, set September 8 for hearing of the Johor Islamic Religious Council’s application for leave to intervene, but struck out an intervener application by the Kuala Lumpur Islamic Religious Council.

“This is a judicial review. If I allow for KL (Islamic Council) to intervene, other councils will want to intervene as well,” he said.

MAIJ’s application was allowed after its lawyer, Datuk Sulaiman Abdullah, convinced the apex court that the case was first filed in Johor and thus the state and its laws were related. Read more