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Gerakan Youth supports the recent move to table a private bill to amend the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 (“LRA”).  It is reported that they propose the said amendment relating to conversion issue specifically related to section 51 of the LRA.


Deputy National Youth Chief of Parti Gerakan, Andy Yong who is also a lawyer avers that “amendment not only on section 51 should spell out clearly and unambiguously that such issue is to be dealt by the civil court but on the issue of unilateral conversion by a parent without the knowledge or consent of the other.  This is a long outstanding issue need to be resolved and required the support of two third of the parliamentarians to amend Article 12(4) of the Federal Constitution”.


Andy also said “in the past many unilateral conversion cases have yet to be resolved or decided clearly by the Courts; it has creates social injustice and violates the rights of the non-converting parent hence the lawmakers shall look into this matter seriously once and for all”


“In addition, I opine that other provision such as section 106 of the LRA need to be looked into.  Section 106 requires parties to attend a conciliatory body or tribunal before petition for a divorce.  This is particularly so when only one of the spouses wants to divorce.  In my 15 years of legal practice, such requirement is waste of time and resources.  This is because never once I encounter my client reconciled after attending the said tribunal.  There were frequent postponements of hearings due to difficulties in securing attendance of all members on the appointed date.  The delays aggravate the already tensed and unfortunate situation of the spouses in a marriage facing difficulty especially if it involves children who are the innocent parties.  Quite often the counselor is not a professional or an expert” said Andy.


Lastly Andy also urges the government to consider methods to secure maintenance or alimony awarded by Court such as compulsory monthly deposit to a relevant government department.
Malaysiakini –

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