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The Star - States must probe marital status of those applying to marry, says group
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PETALING JAYA: The religious authorities should have checked the background of the man found guilty of committing incest, when he married his wife's sister, Sisters in Islam (SIS) said.

The group also reiterated its call for the introduction of a national uniform network on Muslim marriages and divorces, and expressed “grave concern over the absence of coordinated information on the marital status of Muslims in Malaysia".

“There should be a computerised system of registration in every state, which is linked to a national network.

“This would enable religious authorities and individuals of any state to retrieve information regarding the applicant's marital status," said SIS programme manager Norhayati Kaprawi in a statement yesterday.

She added that in cases, where applicants for a marriage had lied about their marital status, the religious authorities should withhold the applications.

“The applicants should also be immediately prosecuted for false declaration.

“There have been many cases where women find out only after marriage that their husbands already have wives," she said.

In the case of taxi driver Omar Tahir, he had married Halimah Ingah in 1960 and 17 years later married her younger sister, Mahaya Singah.

On Tuesday, he was fined RM4,000 by the Syariah High Court here for committing incest with Mahaya, 57.

Criminal lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad said the Quran was very clear that “two sisters in wedlock, at one and the same time, is not permissible."

“It would not have been incest if he had either divorced the first sister, or if she had died, before he married the second sister," he added.

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