Polygamy already has a bad rep in Malaysia due to the various ways it can be misused or taken advantage of by husbands who are just looking for an easy (and legal) way to commit adultery.
When Malaysia’s government website stated that one of the many benefits of polygamy was for husbands to release their “incredible sexual desires” on women other than their existing wives, the stigma was further perpetuated and thrusted into the spotlight.
While polygamy is not as juvenile and problematic as it’s being made out to be, its image has been worsened with the presence of an alleged marriage syndicate that allows elites such as celebrities, corporate figures and other influential people to engage in polygamy without the permission of their first wives.
In case you didn’t know, polygamy cannot exist unless it fulfils several characteristics and adheres to strict rules. One of those rules is that the newly formed union cannot cause physical and emotional turmoil towards the existing wife.
With that, this marriage syndicate goes against the rules dictated by the Shariah Law since it does not concern the consent given by the first wife. If presented in court, the polygamous marriage in question is void.
This syndicate was discovered by members of Persatuan Pengguna Melayu Malaysia (PPMM). According to the president of the association, Che Hassan Che Johan, the syndicate is comprised of several influential people who have the power to arrange a marriage without an existing wife’s consent or knowledge.
In fact, the wife can only be informed of this union through the court or a third party.
To investigate this matter, Che Hassan is calling Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (JAKIM) so they can find out how MyKads can be used to manipulate the situation and allow for these polygamous marriages to exist.
Chiming in, Director of Jabatan Kehakiman Syariah Malaysia (JKSM), Datuk Dr Mohd Na’im Mokhtar revealed that there could be a powerful “insider” involved in this syndicate which is why it could continue without getting caught.
With accusations of double-standards towards the elite arising throughout the period of this pandemic, it seems that these double-standards have even permeated into the realms of marriage, something that is supposed to be sacred to the people involved. Letting elites get away with such an assault on women’s agency would further prove that the hammer of justice only strikes on those too weak to withstand its impact.