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Kelantan govt: Polygamy will encourage more births

Malaysian state to help Muslim men take on multiple wives

KOTA BARU Muslim men who are planning to take on more wives now have another place to go to when getting married.

Instead of going to several districts in southern Thailand, they can now head to Kelantan, where polygamy for the right reason is encouraged.

State Family Development, Welfare and the People's Wellbeing committee chairman Mumtaz Md Nawi said the state government will help men who want to get married, irrespective of whether they are bachelors or are already married.

"This is to encourage the birth of more Muslim children. The Kelantan government will assist those who intend to have more children by taking second, third or fourth wives," said Madam Mumtaz.

"We will give them comprehensive information and counselling to guarantee that the children from these marriages will turn out to be good Muslims," she told reporters after attending the 17th Disabled Persons' Day yesterday.

'PROBLEMS'

"This move is also to discourage such men from going to a neighbouring country to marry as that would result in many problems, including property divisions and the rights of the other wives."

Madam Mumtaz said the state government also wants to encourage more women to give birth to "excellent children".

"It is not for men to take advantage of the policy by taking more wives simply to appease their lust," she said, adding that marriages based on lust, and not responsibility, are bound to end up in divorce.

"A responsible husband and father is important for children to grow up physically and spiritually healthy," she said.

Six years ago, the Kelantan government created a furore by attempting to give incentives to those who wanted to practise polygamy.

The then senior executive committee member Wan Ubaidah Omar was reported as saying that the main condition for the incentive, which would include monetary assistance, was for the husband to inform all the women involved of his marital status and at the same time, make it known to society.

- THE STAR/ANN

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