Saturday, March 29, 2008

Gender Discrimination in Syari'ah Court?

I went to KL last week for a training. My colleague, who is also a good friend, joined the same session. She missed the second day morning session because she had to go to a syari'ah court for the verdict for her case. She is requesting for a fasakh for over a year and had moved to a new house . Her ex-husband made a fuss about picking up their children at their old residence and had my friend arrested since she failed to show up at the old residence on one weekend. My friend was bailed at RM2,000 as per the judge's instruction simply for that act, for wanting the children to be safe (the old residence was rather dangerous). She then filed a case against her ex-husband to have the child picked up at the new residence and the verdict was
announced that morning.

She did not say anything when she arrived that morning. When we break for lunch, I asked her if everything is okay and from her solemn face, I knew that it did not go well. She lost the case.


  1. The ex-husband tried to hit her last time when she sent the children to the old residence.
  2. The distance between the old residence and the new residence is too far, it's economically and geographically insane.
  3. The husband never give her and the children nafkah in their two years of separation.
  4. She was arrested as if she is a criminal, when she only tried to be a mother.
  5. The judge has sided with the ex-husband even before her case was heard.

Bottom line: She was being discriminated.

She told me even her lawyer was surprised that they lost the case since they felt that the case is rock solid. She is worried now since her request for fasakh is still ongoing and it will be heard by that same judge. She has lost thousands for the past two years and now she is going to appeal for the case that she lost, which would easily add another thousands.

She plans to file a complaint and asked me if I have friends who have a connection to the big people. I asked Sarimah for DS Shahrizat contact but was told that DS Shahrizat is not the person to contact for these type of cases. She gave me other options such as Sisters in Islam and Awam.

Sisters in Islam (SIS) is an independent non-governmental organisation,
formed in 1988, which believes in an Islam
that upholds the principles
of equality, justice, freedom
and dignity.

I also had a chance to talk to a very experienced lawyer and he told me that my friend has several options. She can complain to Ketua Hakim Syari'i, MB Selangor or straight to Sultan Selangor since he is the Head of the Religion of Islam in Selangor.

AWAM is an independent feminist

organisation committed to improving

the lives of women in Malaysia.

I know that she sounds a little paranoid. In her shoes, she has to be. There are a lot of story where the divorce cases lasted as long as 12 years. Not only it will involve a lot of money, she will waste her time and energy for unnecessary problem.

So, I'm asking you to help. Maybe not on her case. I am asking you to say something on this issue so that no one else would ever have to go through this.

p/s I think long and hard before I write this entry. I feel weird telling something so personal though she gave her full consent to me. Still, I want to put it out there so that people would know. So, I tried to not describe my friend and her ex-husband's personality as much as possible and lay out the facts as accurate as I could.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

I am jealous.


Because I went to check out Syu's blog just now and it is filled with pictures.

Hence my new resolution, put more pictures in blog.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


When my cousin's kids tore off the plastic cover of the congkak that I bought at Kota Kinabalu and took out the seashells (its marbles), really, I was trying very hard not to shout. I threw a fake smile and nonchalantly continued the conversation that I had with my cousin. Inside I was boiling, to think of how I carefully bring it from KK to avoid from any scratch.

Ten minutes after that, as I was still talking to my cousin, I silently reasons with myself. They are just kids and they are doing what kids do best, being curious. Besides, I can easily wrap it again. It's not like there's a special plastic wrap and as far as the seashells go, I can always find them. I am living in Terengganu for God sake, you see seashells everywhere you turn your head. Okay, so maybe I am exaggerating. But, really, there is no point of getting angry.

Anger. I used to hate it. I hated it because I saw what it can do to people. I saw how a one time anger can break a relationship for years. I hated it for years. I prayed to God to never let me have that emotion.

Then I got a job. My first job. I was an employee trying to shine and I see myself too soft to do so. I observed and I decided to hire someone new. So I employed anger. Used it as a weapon, as a bargaining tool. As a trigger. I was pulling the trigger, everytime, until I finally saw the images behind it. The faces of the people I hurt. It's the cost of that employment.

I changed my strategy then. I employ anger still, but only on the temporary basis. You see, we need anger in life. How else would you be motivated then if there's no anger to heat you up. I guess the secret is, you have to take charge. Let anger know that you are the employer and you are the one to pull the trigger.

So then you know. When the heat starts to burn your skin, you can call it to a halt.