Divorce rate critical, says Fatimah

Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah

KUCHING: The divorce rate in Sarawak is quite critical, said State Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah.

She noted that the state recorded over 1,000 divorce cases yearly from 2011 to 2019.

“Based on data from the state’s Syariah Court, there were 1,564 divorce cases among Muslim couples in 2011; 1,536 in 2012; 1,739 (2013); 1,536 (2014); 2,000 (2015); 2,172 (2016); 2,054 (2017); 2,761 (2018) and 724 (Jan to Sept 2019).

“According to data from the state’s High Court, the divorce cases among non-Muslim couples were 1,162 in 2011; 1,009 in 2012; 1,039 (2013); 1,184 (2014); 1,300 (2015); 1,194 (2016); 1,303 (2017) and 1,107 (2018).

“Additionally, Sarawak Council for Native Customs and Traditions reported that there were 348 divorce cases in 2010; followed by 691 (2011); 1,435 (2012); 1,344 (2013); 86 (2014); 1,496 (2015); 1,637 (2016); 1,574 (2017) and 1,427 (2018),” Fatimah said.

She read out the data in her speech when officiating at a ‘Virtual Marriage Course Graduation Party’ held via Zoom meeting app last Friday night.

Following the worrying divorce rates, Fatimah said efforts were made by the Sarawak Women and Family Department (JWKS) to empower the family institution.

One of the programmes initiated was a marriage course to help couples grow closer and build their healthy relationships as well as to support, enhance and strengthen their parenting capacities so as to promote the growth and development of their children in their formative years.