MIC: Amend­ment to bill the way for­ward

New Straits Times - - News -

MIC yes­ter­day lauded the amended ver­sion of the Law Re­form (Mar­riage and Di­vorce) (Amend­ment) Bill 2016.

Its pres­i­dent, Datuk Seri S. Subra­ma­niam, praised it as the way for­ward in re­solv­ing is­sues per­tain­ing to mar­riages and di­vorce when one part­ner con­verted to Is­lam.

How­ever, he said Clause 88A did not ob­tain the agree­ment of the at­tor­ney-gen­eral as it was in con­flict with the Fed­eral Con­sti­tu­tion, and might not get an ap­proval even if it was passed.

“Af­ter much dis­cus­sion, we felt it (the amended act) could as­sist in re­solv­ing many of the prob­lems associated with such mar­riages.

“There were some ar­eas of the amended act which did not get the agree­ment of the at­tor­ney-gen­eral be­cause they were not con­sis­tent with pro­vi­sions of the Fed­eral Con­sti­tu­tion and some de­cided le­gal de­ci­sions in the up­per courts of the coun­try.

“This cre­ated an im­passe, whereby pass­ing the en­tire amend­ment came to a stand­still. Amend­ments are be­ing pro­posed to many dif­fer­ent sec­tions of the act, which will help re­solve many of the is­sues faced by such mar­riages.”

Subra­ma­niam sug­gested that the Fed­eral Con­sti­tu­tion should be ad­dressed first be­fore Clause 88A could be in­cluded.

“The cur­rent at­tempt to rein­tro­duce the amend­ment without 88A is to al­low the public to get the ben­e­fit of the other amend­ments while we con­tinue re­lent­lessly to ad­dress the is­sues of uni­lat­eral con­ver­sion. I share the views, dis­ap­point­ments and state­ments ex­pressed by ev­ery­one over the ex­clu­sion of 88A. I would like to ex­press my com­mit­ment to con­tinue with the strug­gle to find last­ing so­lu­tion to this thorny prob­lem.”

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