Homewreckers can be fined, imprisoned

15 Jan 2023 09:49am
Photo for illustrative purposes. - File PIX.
Photo for illustrative purposes. - File PIX.

SHAH ALAM - Individuals who become homewreckers or the third person in a marriage can face imprisonment and fines under the sharia law.

Individuals classified as the third party could include family members, lovers, former lovers, neighbours and such.

The disturbance caused could be through any means or influence to cause an abandonment of marriage responsibilities.

The court could order the man or woman to return to the wife or husband.

Sharia lawyer Noorazmir Zakaria said even though the Sharia laws differ from each state in name and section numbers, the offences and punishment were 90 per cent similar.

“For example, Selangor calls it the Sharia Criminal Enactment (Selangor) 1995 while Federal Territories calls it Syariah Criminal Offenses Act (Federal Territories) 1997.

“Under the Sharia Criminal Enactment (Selangor) 1995, individuals disturbing the harmony of a marriage can face a prison sentence of not more than three years or a fine not exceeding RM5,000 or both,” he told Sinar on Sunday.

You may also like:

The Malaysia Legal and Human Rights Practitioners Association (ProGuam) president explained the sentence was allocated under three sections of the enactment involving Section 32 which was to convince in running away, taking or influencing a married woman to leave her household.

It covered Section 33 which was to obstruct a couple who were married legally from living as a husband and wife and Section 34 which was to instigate, force or convince either the wife or husband to divorce or abandon their responsibility to the family.

He said the offence of instigating a husband or wife to divorce or abandoning responsibilities was written in Section 38 of the Syariah Criminal Offenses Act (Federal Territories) 1997 which brought the same punishment.

Noorazmir said that based on his knowledge, there were currently no cases in Malaysia regarding a third individual and homewrecker brought to court and legally punished.

“I have asked religious officers and Sharia prosecution investigation departments and they stated there was not a single case brought to court regarding a third person or a homewrecker.

“The issue happens due to two main factors that were the difficulties in proving the offence elements and secondly is it commonly involves other families,” he said.

Noorazmir said for the offence to instigate a divorce and abandonment of responsibilities, authorities and the prosecution face difficulties to gain proof of such instigation.

He said in some cases with proof, the instigation could not be proven to cause the husband or wife to abandon their responsibilities due to them never performing it in the first place.

“In these cases, the common problem was the family involved with a third individual and after the husband or wife wants to file a divorce and leave home, the aid of family such as parents inviting their child to stay with them will further bring complications,” he said.

Noorazmir suggested the procedure to prosecute the cases be loosened for such cases to be brought to court even with the minimum amount of evidence.

Noorazmir said he saw the Sharia criminal laws in Malaysia as completely uncharted territories considering there are no prosecutions involving a third individual even though the issues of scandals in marriages were not a new occurrence.