Malaysian Indian lawmaker quits after marriage scandal

February 10th, 2009 - 1:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, Feb 10 (IANS) V. Arumugam, the only ethnic Indian lawmaker in Malaysia’s Kedah state assembly, has quit following a scandal over his alleged second marriage.

The first-time legislator has also quit the Parrti Keadalan Rakyat (PKR) party and the opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat.

Arumugam, 54, is said to be embroiled in a morality issue for allegedly marrying another woman through customary rites without divorcing his wife, The Star newspaper reported Tuesday.

A non-Muslim man cannot have more than one wife in Malaysia unless he divorces his first wife. Arumugam is a Tamil Hindu who form a bulk of the two million ethnic Indians in Malaysia.

The PKR said his alleged second marriage without divorcing the first one was a “misunderstanding, not a scandal”.

Kedah’s Chief Minister Azizan Abdul Razak said Arumugam’s letter of resignation was submitted to Speaker Abdul Isa Ismail Monday.

“Until now, we do not know where Arumugam is. We believe he may be trying to find some peace in his life,” Razak said.

A former trainer in the Royal Malaysian Air Force, Arumugam was an unknown independent candidate in last year’s election.

He shot into limelight after he defeated a candidate of the ruling Malaysian Indian Congress in an election that saw many ethnic Indians switching loyalty to the opposition.

Arumugam later joined the PKR and was on the state unit’s executive council.

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