Saturday, December 09, 2006

More Wives, Win Awards!

In a bit to outdo the obsession of the PAS-led Kota Baru municipal council with women, the UMNO-led Terengganu now offers awards to married men 'sacrifices' themselves to marry single mothers.

Terengganu State Exco for Women and Community Development chairman Wan Mohd Wan Hassan announced on Thursday that "men who chose to take single mothers as second or third wives would receive a special award from the state government".

Terengganu State Exco members, as far as I'm concerned, haven't got their heads screwed on properly. If the state is sincere in its intention to help these single mothers, for goodness sake, donate cash, buy them proper housing, provide employment, provide free childcare or for that matter, provide match-making services with single, gainfully employed men!

Marrying the single mothers to existing married men isn't in any way a logical solution! More likely than not, you'd end up with broken homes, poorer incomes and an unhappy family.

Argh.. how can such an insensitive, male-chauvinist idiot like Wan Mohd Wan Hassan be given a portfolio like "Women and Community Develpment". A perfect example of a bungling UMNO government.

Thankfully, the federal minister of Women and Community Development, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, had a little more sense (probably because she's a woman) has requested for the bill to be withdrawn. And it had better be!


Anonymous said...

I wouldn't lambast Wan Mohd Wan Hassan so quickly.

After all, he is merely suggesting what Prophet Mohammed had done in his lifetime by taking war widows as his 2nd, 3rd and 4th wife. Do bear in mind that widowed women are usually not as attractive as unmarried women (assuming all else being equal except that the widowed women have had children). Thus it is less likely that single men are willing to take widowed women as their wifes.

Mr. Wan Hassan's suggestion is reasonable and is meant to improve the welfare of widowed mothers. "Donating cash, giving them free housing" might solved the physical issues but is not be the optimal solution for women to fulfill their emotional need.

Instead of chiding Mr.Wan Hassan so hastily, we should approach his perspective with an open mind.

Anonymous said...

If there is a reward, it should go to those who marry single mother as their first and only wife!

When these guys could afford 2nd or 3rd wife (what else do they need?). Unless we are giving those AMN, PPT, PKJ medals for free. Which also makes the life of the rest of the society easier. We could look/count the medals they get and know exactly how many wifes they have!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree that there is a possibility that someone want to take single mothers as second, third wives to take care of their welfare.

But we should leave it to that white knight to do it on his own accord.

While Islam allows polygamy, the permissibility is subject to so many requirements that certainly many who do practice polygamy today do not meet. Chances are, its these sort of people who will be 'encouraged' by the award, because I think well-meaning men will do so with or without an award.

Wan Mohd Hassan can use the funds to fund other programs to help single mothers in order to satisfy his good intentions.

Anonymous said...

Here's my musing on Broken Homes as an Intermediate State of Evolution

Anonymous said...

To whoever who wrote this:

"Do bear in mind that widowed women are usually not as attractive as unmarried women (assuming all else being equal except that the widowed women have had children). Thus it is less likely that single men are willing to take widowed women as their wifes."

I strongly disagree to the above state as it is shallow and deflects the problems of widows and single moms.

The statement implies that men only marry women who are attractive and without kids. Don't you think it is derogatory to say that women exists only for their looks, and not of their abilities, compassion, and their dedication to family values and the society?

By the way, I don't think women are dumb enough to believe that a man can love all his potential wives equally. If you want to know why I say this, try to put yourself in the shoes of a modern 21st century woman and think deeply. Emotional and financial resources are finite, so are the abilities of a man. Is it better to split your energies into your many wives, instead of concentrating whatever you have to your only ONE?

Not saying that it is wrong to be polygamous, the point is that, those kind of beliefs do not stand up to scrutiny, most of the time made 'credible' only by the fact that the person who say so and so is a religious believer who thinks he knows everything there is in the world. As a person who is supposed to lead, that person has the responsibility of not voicing out stupid statements that would mislead others who are ignorant or unaware. A leader should enlighten the mass and provoke further debates, not suggesting awfully convenient and wrong approaches.

I strongly believe that humans of all racial, religious denominations, regardless of their gender, should be provided with equal opportunities to help them achieve happiness (whatever that may be that they think is best for them). This can be achieved only by having women being able to help themselves. NOBODY in this world wish to depend on others, they want to do it themselves if they can. Indeed, they all can. Humans are remarkably dynamic and innovative creatures of survival, and women perfectly symbolizes this!

Single and married women should not be viewed as an issue concerning women and just women only. Thinking in such a way is patriarchal and insensitive, hence, those people always put up solutions that can be summarised in a few words, "ONLY MEN CAN SOLVE PROBLEMS OF SUCH AND SUCH"... bear in mind, MEN does not encompass WOMEN. Indeed, their problems are a bit similar to those that are orphans: you put them in orphanages or in adopted households and you give them education so that they can live an independent life in the future. But there's a difference between the cases of orphans and widowed/single women, that is: the PATRIARCH factor.

So, the solution is not done by promoting polygamy, but by helping women to help themselves. It is not right to give them the impression (or make it their only choice) that marrying a man (who might be married?) after you had a child born out of wedlock or that somehow your husband end up dead.

Tony does not (and never did) say that giving financial aids or material support would solve all problems faced by the disadvantaged group of women. Instead, try to think of the issue on hand this way: the government should not deflect its responsibility of providing social safety nets to women. Social safety nets must be viewed in a broader context, as it is better to prevent a house from burning down that just buying the best fire-engine that is equipped with the most powerful pumps. The disadvantaged are only disadvantaged because they lack the human capital to achieve objectives that would improve their lives. I believe a woman's needs can be fulfilled better if she is an aware, independently-minded and resourceful individual.

What's the point of giving medals and awards to encourage the bondage of women to their husbands? Or are husbands ... owners too ??? Just like, the handling over of battle-steeds which had lost their owners, to the triumphant warrior?

Anonymous said...
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