SIS: “PAS’ persistent fixation on polygamy showcases lack of sensibility, disconnect from more pressing needs”

A WOMEN’S rights group has slammed PAS deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man for suggesting polygamy as a solution to address the issue of late marriage among Muslim women.

Sisters in Islam (SIS) said the Islamist party’s “feigned display of concern” serves as a façade for self-serving objectives, and that their actions, rather than reflecting the responsible conduct of an opposition, demonstrates a “desperate attempt” to sustain attention through any available means.

“In light of recent events and public statements, it has become apparent that PAS continues to redirect attention away from substantive societal challenges by emphasising matters that do not address the pressing issues confronting our communities, particularly women’s rights in today’s realities,” the NGO said in a statement today (Nov 24).

“The persistent fixation on polygamy as a solution amid a context where 8.4 million women remain unmarried starkly showcases PAS’ lack of sensibility and disconnect from the urgent needs of our society.

“In reality, the ramifications of polygamy, extensively examined by SIS, unveil the intricacies and hardships endured by wives in such unions.”

According to SIS, PAS’ consistent portrayal of “superficial concerns”, while disregarding critical issues underscores a glaring misalignment of priorities.

SIS further cited data from its free legal clinic, Telenisa, which revealed that in 2022, 24% of polygamous marriages occur without the wife’s consent, 18% of husbands in polygamous marriages fail to provide maintenance to their wives, and 14% neglect child maintenance.

“Thus, it is imperative for the public to discern the true nature of PAS: a failed opposition more preoccupied with inconsequential matters than fulfilling its role of responsibly scrutinising and balancing the government,” SIS asserted.

“The time has come to discern their diversionary tactics and refocus efforts on addressing genuine issues that significantly impact the well-being of our populace.”

On Tuesday (Nov 22), Tuan Ibrahim told the Dewan Rakyat that moral support should be given to men to pursue polygamous marriages as a solution to late marriage among Muslim women.

The Kubang Kerian MP said a 2010 census showed there were 4.8 million unmarried women aged 30 and above.

From the figure, 56% cited financial reasons as a reason to avoid marriage, 18.5% cited inability to find a suitable spouse, and 9.4% decided not to get married as they wished to focus on their careers.

He said even though polygamy is a sensitive topic, the government “must be rational about the issue”. – Nov 24, 2023


Main pic credit: MalaysiaGazette

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE