The last two years have seen a decrease in divorce cases to 583 since the highest in 2019 at 624 cases, said Minister of Religious Affairs Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman during yesterday’s Legislative Council (LegCo) session.
The question was raised by LegCo member Yang Berhormat Haji Mohd Salleh bin Haji Othman on the current figures, as well as the counselling processes for spouses facing marital problems.
“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, movement was limited, and this also included work being processed, thus, many of the cases were pending.
“This caused a few of those who wanted to divorce to not go ahead with it,” said the minister.
He added that the reasons for the divorce cases are numerous and extensive, making it challenging to list.
Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin said the Family Counselling Service Division under the Syariah Affairs Department, Ministry of Religious Affairs has carried out courses and awareness programmes, such as the pre-marriage course.
“Previously, the course only included laws and the household, but it now also covers financial and health matters,” said the minister.
A post-marriage course is also carried out, which includes advice and raising awareness on how to guarantee the integrity and security of the household so that matters that may cause defamation (fitnah) do not happen, as well as matters that arise when spouses are blessed with a child.
“There are also certain briefings with the motive of ‘My Family, My Hope’ to increase awareness,” said the minister.
The minister further noted that there will be a programme introduced in the near future that has been carried out on a departmental level, to encourage congregational prayer to sanctify and bless the family between husband and wife through practising praying together.