Posted by Unknown | Posted on 9:05 PTG
Posted: 22 Aug 2013 02:48 AM PDT
I welcome and applaud the decision of the Syariah High Court in Kuala Lumpur where Justice Azzeman Omar ruled that it is incumbent upon the father, in spite of a divorce, to finance the child's education even beyond the age of 18.
The support towards the decision of Justice Azzeman Omar is not out of any sort of political preference or dismay towards the parties in the suit, but simply because it is the just and right decision to protect the interest of the children's welfare and justice.
Section 79 of the Islamic Family law Act 1984 provides that "the order for maintenance shall expire on the attainment by the child of the age of 18 years, but the Court may extend the order for maintenance to cover such further period as it thinks reasonable, to enable the child to pursue further or higher education or training."
However, it is sad that similar provision cannot be found in the civil law of our country.
The existing provision for maintenance in civil law is section 95 of the Law Reform (Marriage & Divorce) Act 1976, which states that:
"Except where an order for custody or maintenance of a child is expressed to be or any shorter period or where any such order has been rescinded, it shall expire on the attainment by the child of the age of eighteen years or where the child is under physical or mental disability, on the ceasing of such disability, whichever is the later."
As correctly pointed out by Justice Azzeman Omar, "failure to do so can be considered a sin." The obligation to maintain their children beyond the age of 18 years should apply equally to Muslim and non-Muslim spouse. However, the current provision of Section 95 has caused millions of non-Muslim spouses and children to suffer the injustice especially as the age of 18 heralds the beginning of heavier educational expenses for children who enter pre-university classes and thereafter university courses.
DAP call upon Minister of Home Affairs to review and amend Section 95 of the Law Reform (Marriage & Divorce) Act immediately to ensure the welfare of the children of non-Muslim divorced parents and I believe all BN and PR members of Parliament will support the amendment whole-heartedly.
Posted: 22 Aug 2013 02:40 AM PDT
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