Johor eyes making non-Muslims attend marriage school as divorces soar

Liow said a total of 9,691 divorce cases involving non-Muslim couples were recorded between 2014 and this year. — Reuters pic
Liow said a total of 9,691 divorce cases involving non-Muslim couples were recorded between 2014 and this year. — Reuters pic

ISKANDAR PUTERI, July 2 — The Johor government is planning compulsory pre-marriage courses for non-Muslim couples to try and reduce divorce rates in the state, said an official.

Johor Tourism, Women, Family and Community Development Committee chairman Liow Cai Tung said the state government, through the Darul Ta'zim Family Development Foundation (YPKDT), is developing a family module for non-Muslim couples.

“This module is being developed by the foundation in collaboration with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).

“We will then propose to the state government that each non-Muslim couple who intends to get married must attend and obtain a pre-marriage certificate first,” said Liow.

She said this in a reply to Gan Peck Cheng (PH-Penggaram) at the Johor state assembly in Kota Iskandar here today.

On divorce rates, Liow (PH-Johor Jaya) said a total of 9,691 divorce cases involving non-Muslim couples were recorded between 2014 and this year.

She said the National Registration Department (NRD) recorded 1,750 cases of non-Muslim couples in 2014, which increased to 1,765 cases in 2015.

This continued rising to 1,973 in 2016, 1,749 in 2017, 2,016 cases last year and 438 cases in the year to date.

“According to the records of the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim), divorce rates among Muslim couples in the state were also quite high, ranked only second after Selangor for 2015 to 2017.

“Overall, the proportion of Muslim couples in the state for the period was 13,593, compared to Selangor (25,775 cases),” said Liow.

Liow explained that the Johor government has devised various programmes to overcome the problem of divorce in the state, with many existing programmes being retained and new programmes planned for the future.