Penang men no longer need first wife’s permission to take on second wife

(Malaysian Digest) – Penang men no longer need to seek permission from their first wife in order to take on another bride. Instead, they now only need to get permission from the Syariah court to do so.

This was announced by Penang Islamic Religious Department director Datuk Sazali Hussein, who said the move can help curb the problem of unmarried women.

“For those who wish to practice polygamy, they only need to get approval from the syariah court to waive the need to present the first wife’s approval to take on another wife.”

“However, they need to provide solid reasons before it can be considered.”

“Maybe if the reason given is solid and can bring benefits, the judge will grant the request,” he was quoted as saying in Utusan Malaysia today.

Sazali was asked to comment on a suggestion by a reader in the newspaper’s Forum column. The reader, identified as Syed Abdullah Syed Osman Jamalulail from Ampangan, Seremban, had suggested that polygamy conditions be eased to help women of an advanced age who are still unmarried.

Syed Abdullah had suggested that the authorities loosen the condition which stipulates that men who wish to marry women over 30-years-old need to obtain the consent of their first wife.

He had also suggested that another condition which should be relaxed was the requirement for the man to produce his salary slip or confirmation of wages from employers, as per normal procedure.

He believed that it was sufficient that the prospective newlyweds come to a mutual agreement on their union.