AWARD FOR POLYGAMIST?

MEDIA STATEMENT

WANITA PARTI KEADILAN RAKYAT MALAYSIA(WANITA keADILan)

12 December 2006

AWARD FOR POLYGAMIST?

The Mentri Besar Trengganu, Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh has sent an SMS to the media to explain the controversy surrounding the remark by an exco member of the Trengganu State Assembly, Wan Mohd Wan Hassan to award men who took Single Mothers as their new wives. Idris Jusoh has refuted that such an award will be given away by the State Government. The Minister for Women, Family, and Community Development, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil has expressed displeasure by saying that such an award will promote polygamy in the state.

Wanita keADILan regards the conflicting opinions as not being the major concern. More importantly, an exco member of the State Assembly whose portfolio was the Affairs of Women and Community Development has actually made the statement regarding such incentive to the press. Such statement highlights that:

1. Leaders of the Barisan Nasional in Trengganu are shallow and narrow minded in their thinking to suggest that the plight of Single Mothers will simply be resolved once they remarry or obtained men who become their husbands.

2. Such statement is sexist in nature as it vilifies Single Mothers and their ability to stay empowered and independent financially and in taking care of themselves and their family’s dignity.

3. The insularity of a women minister who focussed entirely on the viewpoint of anti- polygamy without pursuing a concrete resolve in the Single Mothers’ plight.

4. The programs related to support Single Mothers has failed in Trengganu resulting in the exco member manifesting a widely contradictory, not generally humaly accepted solution.

Wanita keADILan strongly asserts that:

Women, generally, and unfortunate Single Mothers, particularly, are not chattels for whom incentives and awards are offered to men who eventually marry them.

Wanita keADILan firmly holds that:

1. That the state government of Trengganu should allocate any available fund to research and study on how to make programs related to women empowerment for Single Mothers more effective (assuming that women empowerment programs are the priority of the state government).

2. Men, whose sincere intention in marrying Single Mothers to alleviate their plight, with conditions such as:

a. the first wives give their consent and willingly cooperative in helping other unfortunate women

b. the men are capable according to Islamic jurisprudence in all aspects

c. and the Single Mothers believe that such marriage will protect her family’s and her own dignity,

should not be criticised by others for having such pure and commendable intention.

Leaders of the Barisan Nasional must always be alert to the trust placed upon them and to accomplish their duties with care and be able to resolve the people’s plight effectively.

Fuziah Salleh

Head of Wanita keADILan (keADILan Women Wing)

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