Wanted: Role model for polygamy

Singer and radio announcer Salih Yaacob, who has four wives

MALAYSIA - If you are a polygamous husband and if you think your "marriage is exemplary", you could be the man Malaysia's Kelantan government is looking for.

The search is on for a role model to be the "public face" of polygamy, the New Straits Times reported.

The role model should be able to maintain harmonious relationships by being fair to all his wives.

State Women, Community Development and Health Committee chairman Mumtaz Md Nawi said the selected candidate would serve as proof that a husband could ensure harmony in a polygamous marriage.

"We will not stop people from practising polygamy as it is allowed in Islam, but with the condition that the wives must be treated well," the New Straits Times quoted the minister as saying. "At the same time, we are considering 'adopting' a polygamous husband as an exemplary candidate or an icon in the state to show other people that polygamous husbands can create a good and harmonious family too."

No decision yet

The minister said the government has yet to decide whether the selected candidate will be entitled to any incentive.

Former women, community development and health committee chairman Wan Ubaidah Wan Omar had previously touted singer and radio announcer Salih Yaacob, who has four wives, as the ideal candidate.

She had been quoted as saying that in Kelantan, there were 25,000 single women under 60 still eligible for marriage.

Ms Mumtaz said the state government had introduced several incentives to curb vice activities, such as benefits to encourage youths to marry. She said in 2011, the Kelantan government had introduced a RM1,000 (S$390) incentive for youths who got married.

The programme, she said, had received good response with more than RM2 million disbursed.

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