Why do you want fourth wife, asks Malaysian judge

May 19th, 2008 - 4:18 pm ICT by admin  

Kuala Lumpur, May 19 (IANS) A Malaysian judge has blocked the wedding of an odd-job worker, scheduled for Friday, asking him why he wants to have a fourth wife and prove that he can afford it. The wedding cannot take place till Judge Sheikh Ahmad Ismail of a syariah court, that interprets the Islamic law, is convinced that Mohamad Nor Awang, 51, who has 18 children but earns only RM 1,500 ($480 approx.) per month, can afford to marry again, the New Strait Times reported.

Awang, 51, came out beaming from the court in Kuala Terrenganu last week, followed by his three wives who consented to his plan for a fourth wedding.

But the judge says that is not enough. Nor is he impressed with all the media reports about this case.

“It makes an interesting read but I have to defend syariah,” the judge told Awang.

His three wives - Wan Rukiah Mat Yusoff, 52, Kalthum Dolah, 39, and Noraini Daud, 40 - who had blessed his wedding were not present in court Sunday.

His fiancee, Suzi Sulong, 34, who was present, had her face covered with a scarf during proceedings.

She made a quick exit after the court postponed the case to June 5.

Awang said he did not want anything to spoil his chances of getting married for a fourth time.

He said he actually earned RM 3,500 ($ 1,100 approx.) a month.

Not convinced, the judge asked for bank documents and witnesses to prove it.

Awang told the judge that he had provided for his wives so that each of them had a house, a plot of land and a motorcycle to ferry their children to school.

“I believe I have the financial capacity to support a fourth wife,” he said Sunday in a statement.

He said he was a responsible husband and had been living in peace with his wives.

Many Malaysians, if disallowed from marrying again, go to neighbouring countries. This was the reason why his third wife agreed to have a fourth co-wife.

Judge Ismail warned him against this.

“If I reject your application today, there is still room for you to make another application. But don’t make the rejection a reason for you to marry in a third country.”

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