The cabinet has agreed to table a proposal to amend the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 in the next Parliament sitting, announced by Prime Minister Najib Razak today.
Speaking at the launch of the National Women’s Day celebration, he said it would be part of the government’s efforts to address the contentious religious conversion issues.
The proposal to amend the law would be coordinated as soon as possible by the Home Ministry, guided by three main principles.
If there are any divorce issues involve a civil marriage, it has to be resolved at the Civil Court first.
This is to ensure that any claims such as custody of children, as well as alimony, are protected until their tertiary education.
Secondly, the amendment will be founded on the principle of fairness for all so that the couple can settle their marriage issues in civil court and later move on with their lives.
The third principle was to resolve any contradiction between civil and syariah courts following the conversion to Islam by one of the partners in the marriage.
“There is a need to address loopholes in the law or any overlapping ones in existing laws,” said Najib.
The prime minister also announced that the government would form a task force soon to study issues related to crimes against children, including sexual crimes.