Check marital status, Jamil tells imams, religious councils

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PETALING JAYA: The marital status of a Muslim couple is not a matter to be taken lightly, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Jamil Khir Baharom.

Referring to the tragic murder of a man in Terengganu who had tried to prove to his younger sister that her boyfriend was already married, the minister in charge of Islamic affairs said it could have been avoided if state religious departments and imams did the necessary administrative work in the first place, Bernama reported.

“A mechanism is in existence at the administrative level to confirm the marital status of a Muslim individual before a marriage takes place.

“Problems crop up when people fall in love and don’t see or don’t care about the marital status of their partners.

“Worse still is that it is an offence, when one of the couple cheats about his or her marital status,” Jamil said, calling for the respective State Islamic Religious Councils (MAIN) and imams to play a proactive role in dealing with the issue.

He added that there is a form, to declare that a person is single, to avoid victimisation, specifically polygamous marriages for women, and that cheating on the marital status in the form is a serious offence.

He was speaking to reporters after launching a ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the Al Barakah Surau at Kampung Batu 8, Jeniang, in Gurun, yesterday.