KOTA KINABALU - A 29-year-old nurse who took a second husband while still being married to her first spouse was found guilty under native customary laws and slapped with fines amounting to RM10,500 (S$4,076) together with the man.
Her second husband, whose age and identity were not disclosed, was also found guilty of solod or marrying the wife of another man in the first such case of polyandry heard by the Penampang native court earlier this week.
The woman and her second husband, with whom she had a child, were slapped with a total of RM10,500 in sogit (customary fines) for various offences under native customary laws by a panel of judges headed by Penampang Ketua Anak Negri Marcus Jonioh.
For taking a second husband or lapau (bigamy), the woman was fined RM1,500 (equivalent to one head of livestock, which is usually cattle) and another RM3,000 (two heads of livestock) for illicit sex or mianu-anu.
Her second husband was fined RM4,500 (three heads of livestock) for solod. The court also imposed RM1,500 for costs.
In the unanimous decision, Jonioh said the pair was also ordered not to continue their relationship or they would risk being fined further.
Their child was left under the custody of the father until the woman settled her divorce case.
The native court, which had no jurisdiction over divorcees, gave them a month to settle the fines or face imprisonment.
The native court had convened to hear the case after the first husband, whose identity was also not disclosed, lodged a complaint that his wife, whom he married at a church in Penampang in 2010, had taken a second husband in July by registering it in the Beluran native court.
The woman and her first husband have no children. It was not disclosed whether their church wedding was registered under civil laws though they are considered married under native customary laws.