In The Star newspaper this week:
Kelantan* Women, Family and Health committee chairman Wan Ubaidah Omar suggested that awards be given to assemblymen for marrying single mothers should they decide to take another wife.
… She said one dilemma facing some single mothers in Kelantan and the country as a whole was that many of them could not register at the Welfare Department or related agencies because their husbands had left them without filing for divorce.**
So… here’s the world according to Wan Ubaidah Omar and the Kelantan Committee for Women, Family and Health:
1. Single mothers need help and we have money to help them. So will we give them the money – or the help? Nope. We’ll give it to a venal man who will marry this worthless woman for money.
2. An Islamic marriage involves men giving women a dowry, as a safety net. Do we agree with that? Nope. We think men should be given a dowry. With tax payers money.
3. Do we think a single mother can get along without a man? Nope. Should she be helped to be independent and financially viable? Nope. We think she’s better off as an addition to a family, despised by the first wife and her family***.
4. These women are in trouble because men had children by them and then walked out and refused to pay child support. So do we believe in going after these men to pay their debts? Nope. We think the wife should find herself another magnificent specimen of manhood – someone who will marry her if you pay him enough.
Why isn’t Wan Ubaidah Omar looking for real solutions, including legal ones, for a real problem – instead of suggesting this horror?
*One of the northern states of Peninsular Malaysia
**I find that statement hard to believe. I hope the paper got it wrong.
*** And anyone who has ever spoken to women/children in polygamous situations in this country knows the sadness such marriages cause to at least some of the affected.