ALOR STAR: All parties, including non-governmental organisations (NGOs) should be more concerned on the fate of unmarried women, said Kedah Religious Committee chairman Mohd Rawi Abd Hamid.
He said this group, which comprised professionals such as lecturers, widows or young women, have been living far too long without a partner.
“I had the experience of working with an NGO where we provided a match-making service to encourage them to marry and in the first month alone we managed to register 25 unmarried women.
“From this total, 10 of them were professional women working in institutions of higher learning, either as lecturers or academicians,” he told the State Assembly today.
He was replying to a question from Mohd Nasir Mustafa (PAS-Kubang Rotan), who wanted to know what steps the government was taking in tackling rising divorce rates and on the proposed post-marriage course in solving the problem.
Mohd Rawi said most of the women who have strong financial status admitted that they were shy in talking over matters of the heart and they did not want to be branded as desperately looking for a man.
Meanwhile, speaking to reporters outside the house, he called on NGOs which were aggressively against polygamy to forward their proposals in addressing the problem.
“What are these NGOs doing to help these professional women who have been swindled by foreigners in love scams as these victims are actually looking for love and in need of a husband,” he said.
Earlier, in reply to a question from Aishah Ghazali (PAS-Merbau Pulas) on the divorce rate in Kedah, Mohd Rawi said the rate was alarming as there was an increase of 5,184 cases in 2015 compared with 4,803 cases in 2014.
He added that khalwat offences too had increased from 387 cases in 2014 to 440 cases in 2015.
Mohd Rawi also urged the Attorney-General’s Chambers to discuss with the Kedah Judicial Council on ways to control the growing number of illegitimate children which had been a usual occurrence in states which share the Thai border.
“I am sure there are thousands out there who are suffering due to the strict regulations,” he said adding the law should be more flexible in legalizing marriages to help people living with the predicament.