Indonesia's Defence Ministry permits polygamy

Indonesia's Defence Ministry permits polygamy
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Defence Ministry spokesman Brig. Gen. Jundan Eko Bintoro confirmed in a letter that circulated among their employees that the ministry allows polygamy.

"[The rules allowing polygamy] have been in effect since July 22," Jundan said as quoted by on Friday.

The letter contains the ministry's regulation on marriage and divorce for its employees, signed by secretary-general Brig. Gen. Sumardi.

The letter of notice mentioned a rule that states male civil servants in the Defence Ministry are allowed to have multiple wives. The women, however, are not allowed to have multiple husbands.

"Read it [the letter of notice] thoroughly. Even though we allow it, the requirements are not easy to fulfil," Jundan added.

The rules stated that all employees, both men and women, are only permitted to have one husband or wife. However, there is a following rule that states the exception for men; it says that a man can have multiple wives if it is not against his religion, and he must fulfil at least one of the additional requirements.

The additional requirements for permission include situations in which the first wife is no longer able to fulfil her duty as a wife, contracts an acute sickness or physical disability or is unable to produce offspring.

Also, the male who wishes to be polygamous must present written consent from his wife, and have enough income to support multiple wives by presenting his income tax report. He must also make a written statement promising to treat the family fairly.

"If any violation of these rules are to be found, we will investigate - he can be fired," said Jundan.

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