MALAYSIA is a majority Muslim country and there are some laws to protect the harmony of the household. For those who disturb other people’s spouses, there is a fine of RM5,000 or a jail term.
This is according to Shariah laws in Malaysia, and according to these laws, those who disturb other people’s households are called ‘third persons’ or ‘orang ketiga’ and they can include family members, lovers or ex-lovers, friends, neighbours and so on.
If convicted, the ‘third person’ can be fined not more than RM5,000, imprisoned for a period not exceeding three years or both.
The court can also order the man or woman to return to his wife or husband, wrote Sinar Harian, the Malay language online portal.
The portal quoted Shariah lawyer Noorazmir Zakaria, who said although sharia law differs from state to state in terms of its name and section number, they are 90 percent the same in terms of sharia offences and punishments.
“Under the Syariah Criminal Enactment (Selangor) 1995, individuals who disturb other people’s domestic harmony can face a prison sentence of not more than three years or a fine of not more than RM5,000 or both.”
Punishment is provided under three sections of the enactment concerning Section 32, which is persuading a woman to run away, take away, or influence a married woman to leave her household.
It also includes Section 33, which prevents legally married couples from living as husband and wife, and Section 34, which incites, forces, or persuades any husband or wife to divorce or neglect their obligations to their spouse or family.
Though we hear stories of wives or husbands running away with their lovers, in Malaysia, there are still no records of third parties, or ‘orang ketiga’ being charged in court or facing legal action.
This is mainly because it is hard to prove that the offence was committed or that such cases often involve family members.
Nevertheless, hundreds of netizens particularly on Facebook responded to the article.
Meanwhile, netizen HatiQue Kaseyh said the fines are too little:
“Regarding fines, it seems that many people can afford it because it’s very little.. but prison should be mandatory or must be because that’s what is feared.. it should not be that one person alone pays for it.. so it’s fair that two should be punished.. let this teach a lesson..”
Moreover, Facebook user Mahyarudin Mohd, gave a piece of advice that may not sit down well with everyone:
“In households, if everyone plays their role in the house there is no problem. The egos of both parties must be put aside. If there are third, fourth or fifth persons (women, as it is about men having more than one wife), it is called fate. Be happy because God made the husbands that way.” — Jan 15, 2023