Friday, December 12, 2008

Laws in Malaysia

"There is a need for native women, particularly non-Muslims, to be aware of their rights pertaining to the family as prescribed under Sabah's native customary laws.

State Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister, Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun, said it is imperative that they acquire such knowledge so that they would know which authority to refer their problems to.

"Muslim women nowadays are well aware of their rights under the family law and they would refer any matters related to marriages and property distribution to the Syariah Court.

"But many non-Muslim women are unaware of their rights provided for under the native customary laws. In fact many do not understand the important provisions as well. Consequently, they do not know where to go when facing family-related problems," she said at the opening of a Family Law Seminar on Native and Customary Laws, Tuesday.

The Legal Committee under the Sabah Women's Advisory Council (MPWS) organised the seminar to create and enhance awareness as well as disseminate legal information on family matters under native customary laws to the participants.

Another objective was to provide a platform to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the Native Court system, including comparing conflicting issues in native laws vis-a-vis Syariah and Civil Courts.

By being aware of their legal rights, Azizah said native women regardless of their religious beliefs can be proactive and would not feel hesitant to take action if necessary. "

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