Call for better protection for women in divorce cases

Voon Lee Shan

KUCHING: Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) has urged lawmakers to address the loopholes on the maintenance awarded to ex-spouses in divorce cases for better protection of the women and their children.

Its president, Voon Lee Shan said current legislations are inadequate in protecting women and children in divorce cases, and often times in a divorce settlement or divorce granted by the court, maintenance to the ex-wife and children would be very minimal.

“In spite of the court order, many times I came across cases where ex-husbands fail to maintain their ex-wives and children after divorce. Many of them are rich, living in huge mansions with new families, eating in restaurants and driving flashy cars. They forget their ex-wives and children and this is a serious social ill in society.

“Therefore, I urge lawmakers to plug this loophole by making it a crime with hefty fines and jail terms for failing to maintain ex-wife and children after divorce and to allow seizure of the husband’s property to settle for maintenance of their former wives and children in the event of default.”

He said most of the time, the ex-wife would find it difficult to have the court order enforced for the benefit of herself and the children, and they have to engage lawyers and go back to court to seek another court order to enforce the maintenance or judgment.

“The ex-wife just wants to move on with life. To prolong court process will incur added costs and legal fees for the lawyers.

“This is not cheap and the spouses whom I dealt with most of the time did not have the means to engage lawyers and to pay for court fees,” he pointed out.

He said it is a pity that many times he came across such families being chased out of their homes because they could not afford to pay rent or installments of their house.

“It is also disgusting to find out that some wealthy ex-husbands and some people at high places in society are unable to maintain their ex-wives,” said Voon.