Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) calls for an urgent sense of priority and promote the value: Family First, Polygamy Last.
Polygamy is a conditional right whereby a husband has to fulfill specific conditions before claiming this right so that he is just and fair to his wife and children, and even more importantly, true to the principles of Islam.
The Menteri Besar said that they will look into the financial position of the husband before he takes on his second and presumably third and fourth wife. Will they also have a test to check the husband’s capacity to love and nurture all of his children? The latter may be intangibles but critical preconditions to build and maintain a happy family.
The Perlis policy is encouraging men to be irresponsible and disrespectful not only to the wife but also to the institution of marriage and family. When a man says that he does not care for his wife’s consent, he is also saying that he does not care for her opinion, her contribution and the welfare of his first family.
WAO also appeals to the Malaysian men to protest as they should feel suitably insulted that they are deemed to be irresponsible enough to disregard their wives and children.
Furthermore the Menteri Besar’s and other leaders’ dismissal of women’s groups as being emotional is most condescending and a convenient way of not wanting to deal with our viewpoints.