Where is Article 9?

In light of recent developments where Section 15(5) of the UUCA was found to contradict Article 9 of the Consti, I thought that I should highlight another potential inconsistency. I’ve started reading statutes and the Islamic Family Act one was the thinnest of them all.

Section 59(2) of the Act says:

(2) Subject to Hukum Syarak and confirmation by the Court, a wife shall not be entitled to maintenance when she is nusyuz, or unreasonably refuses to obey the lawful wishes or commands of her husband, that is to say, inter alia

(a) when she withholds her association with her husband;
(b) when she leaves her husband’s home against his will; or
(c) when she refuses to move with him to another home or place,

without any valid reason according to Hukum Syarak.

Honestly, I think that there is an inconsistency between this section – particularly s.59(2b) and s.59(2c) – of the Islamic Family Act with Article 9 of the Consti, which says that:

(1) No citizen shall be banished or excluded from the Federation.
(2) Subject to Clause (3) and to any law relating to the security of the Federation or any part thereof, public order, public health, or the punishment of offenders, every citizen has the right to move freely throughout the Federation and to reside in any part thereof.
(3) So long as under this Constitution any other State is in a special position as compared with the States of Malaya, Parliament may by law impose restrictions, as between that State and other States, on the rights conferred by Clause (2) in respect of movement and residence.

So. I’m confused.

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Shawn Tan

Chip Doctor, Chartered Engineer, Entrepreneur, Law Graduate.

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