KUALA LUMPUR: Women’s groups are against proposed changes to a Bill which
appears to enhance Muslim men’s rights in cases of polygamy and make divorce
simpler for them.
The Bill is expected to be tabled in the Dewan Negara tomorrow. Some women senators told The Star that they would object to the Bill or vote against it.
KUALA LUMPUR: Women senators who have been up in arms against the controversial family law Bill, which they say will lead to erosion of their rights, will have no choice but to vote for it.
All talk of breaking ranks to vote against the Bill dissipated after Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz spoke to them in small groups before talking to a group of 25 senators, including the 19 women.
Anxious to ensure that Barisan Nasional senators toe the line, he warned that he was invoking the Whip (are they f*cking kidding me??) and ordered the 19 Barisan women senators to vote for the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territories) (Amendment) Bill 2005 when it comes up for debate today.
“They are free to debate and speak their mind, but when it comes to a vote, they have to follow,” Nazri told a hastily called press conference. The Bill must go through. No question about that,” said Nazri, who is in charge of parliamentary affairs.The 19 women senators were lined up against a contentious Islamic Bill, which having been unanimously passed under protest, eroded their rights while enhancing the men’s.
On the eve of the debate, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz invoked the whip, compelling the women senators to toe the party line. They did. Each said that despite her conscience, “I am a loyal party member and will obey.”