LAWS OF MALAYSIA
REPRINT
Act 164
LAW REFORM (MARRIAGE AND
DIVORCE) ACT 1976
Incorporating all amendments up to 1 January 2006
PUBLISHED BY
THE COMMISSIONER OF LAW REVISION, MALAYSIA
UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE REVISION OF LAWS ACT 1968
IN COLLABORATION WITH
PERCETAKAN NASIONAL MALAYSIA BHD
2006
Laws of Malaysia
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ACT 164
LAW REFORM (MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE)
ACT 1976
Date of Royal Assent
...
...
...
...
6 March 1976
Date of publication in the Gazette
...
11 March 1976
English text to be authoritative
...
... P.U. (B) 127 of 1976
PREVIOUS REPRINTS
First Reprint
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1981
Second Reprint
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1997
Third Reprint
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2001
Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce)
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LAWS OF MALAYSIA
Act 164
LAW REFORM (MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE)
ACT 1976
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
PART I
PRELIMINARY
Section
1.
Short title and commencement
2.
Interpretation
3.
Application
4.
Subsisting valid marriages deemed to be registered under this Act and
dissoluble only under this Act
PART II
MONOGAMOUS MARRIAGES
5.
Disability to contract marriages otherwise than under this Act
6.
Avoidance of marriage by subsisting prior marriage
7.
Offence
8.
Continuance of marriage
PART III
MARRIAGE
Restrictions on marriage
9.
Persons by whom marriages may be solemnized
10.
Avoidance of marriages where either party is under minimum age for
marriage
11.
Prohibited relationships
12.
Requirement of consent
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ACT 164
Preliminaries to marriage
Section
13.
Non-application of sections 14 to 20 inclusive to certain parties to a
marriage
14.
Notice of marriage
15.
Publication of notice
16.
Declaration to accompany notice
17.
Issue of certificate for marriage
18.
Marriage to take place within six months
19.
Caveat
20.
Proceedings if caveat entered
21.
Licence
Solemnization of marriages
22.
Solemnization of marriages
23.
Solemnization of a civil marriage performed in office of a Registrar
or elsewhere
24.
Solemnization of a marriage through religious ceremony, custom or
usage
25.
Entry in marriage register
Solemnization of marriages in Malaysian Embassies, etc., abroad
26.
PART IV
REGISTRATION OF MARRIAGES
27.
Registration
28.
Appointment of Registrar General, Registrars and Assistant Registrars
of Marriages
29.
Books and Registers to be kept of all marriages in Malaysia
30.
Copies of entries to be sent to Registrar General
31.
Registration of foreign marriage by a person citizen of or domiciled
in Malaysia
32.
Unlawful registers
33.
Voluntary registration of marriages previously solemnized under religion
or custom
34.
Legal effect of registration
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PART V
PENALTIES AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
RELATING TO THE SOLEMNIZATION AND
REGISTRATION OF MARRIAGES
Section
35.
Omission to appear before Registrar within prescribed time
36.
Contravention of section 32
37.
Interference with marriage
False oath, etc., for procuring marriage
38.
39.
False allegation in caveat
40.
Unauthorized solemnization of marriages
41.
Offences relating to solemnization of marriages
42.
Destroying or falsifying register book
43.
Sanction for prosecution
44.
Correction of errors
45.
Inspection and search
46.
Proof
46A. Damaged registers
46B. Missing register
PART VI
DIVORCE
47.
Principles of law to be applied
48.
Extent of power to grant relief
49.
Additional jurisdiction in proceedings by a wife
50.
Restriction on petitions within two years of marriage
51.
Dissolution on ground of conversion to Islam
52.
Dissolution by mutual consent
53.
Breakdown of marriage to be sole ground for divorce
54.
Proof of breakdown
55.
Provisions designed to encourage reconciliation
56.
Rules to provide for agreements to be referred to court
57.
Contents of divorce petition
58.
Damages for adultery may be claimed against co-respondent
59.
Powers of court on claim to damages for adultery
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ACT 164
Section
60.
Hearing of petition
Decree nisi and proceedings thereafter
61.
62.
Remarriage of divorced persons
Proceedings for decree nisi of presumption of death and divorce
63.
Judicial Separation
64.
Judicial separation
65.
Judicial separation no bar to petition for divorce
66.
Property of wife after judicial separation
Nullity of Marriage
67.
Extent of power to grant relief
68.
Petition for nullity of marriage
69.
Grounds on which a marriage is void
70.
Grounds on which a marriage is voidable
71.
Bars to relief where marriage is voidable
72.
Marriages governed by foreign law or celebrated abroad under Malaysian
law
73.
Effect of decree of nullity in case of voidable marriage
74.
Collusion not to be bar to relief in cases of nullity
75.
Legitimacy where nullity decree made
PART VII
MATTERS INCIDENTAL TO MATRIMONIAL
PROCEEDINGS
76.
Power for court to order division of matrimonial assets
Maintenance of spouse
77.
Power for court to order maintenance of spouse
78.
Assessment of maintenance
79.
Power for court to order security for maintenance
80.
Compounding of maintenance
81.
Duration of orders for maintenance
82.
Right to maintenance to cease on remarriage
83.
Power for court to vary orders for maintenance
84.
Power for court to vary agreements for maintenance
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Section
85.
Maintenance payable under order of court to be inalienable
86.
Recovery of arrears of maintenance
PART VIII
PROTECTION OF CHILDREN
87.
Meaning of "child"
88.
Power for court to make order for custody
89.
Orders subject to conditions
90.
Declaratory order as to unfitness of parent to have custody
91.
Custody of children deemed legitimate
92.
Duty to maintain children
93.
Power for court to order maintenance for children
94.
Power for court to order security for maintenance
95.
Duration of orders for custody and maintenance
96.
Power for court to vary orders for custody or maintenance
97.
Power for court to vary agreement for custody or maintenance
98.
Recovery of arrears of maintenance
99.
Duty to maintain child accepted as member of family
Court to have regard to advice of welfare officers, etc.
100.
101.
Power for court to restrain taking of child out of Malaysia
Other reliefs
102.
Power for court to set aside and prevent dispositions intended to defeat
claims to maintenance
103.
Injunction against molestation
PART IX
MISCELLANEOUS
104.
Recognition of marriage contracted abroad
Recognition of marriages contracted in Embassies, etc., in Malaysia
105.
106.
Requirement of reference to conciliatory body before petition for divorce
107.
Maintenance of register of divorces and annulments
108.
Power to make rules
109.
Repeal
SCHEDULE
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ACT 164
Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce)
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LAWS OF MALAYSIA
Act 164
LAW REFORM (MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE)
ACT 1976
An Act to provide for monogamous marriages and the solemnization
and registration of such marriages; to amend and consolidate the
law relating to divorce; and to provide for matters incidental thereto.
*[Throughout Malaysia--1 March 1982,
P.U. (B) 73/1982]
BE IT ENACTED by the Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan
Agong with the advice and consent of the Dewan Negara and
Dewan Rakyat in Parliament assembled, and by the authority of
the same, as follows:
PART I
PRELIMINARY
Short title and commencement
1.  This Act may be cited as the Law Reform (Marriage and
Divorce) Act 1976 and shall come into force on such date as the
Yang di-Pertuan Agong may, by notification in the Gazette appoint
and different dates may be appointed for Peninsular Malaysia,
Sabah and Sarawak.
Interpretation
2. (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires--
"aborigine" has the same meaning assigned to it in section 3 of
the Aboriginal Peoples Act 1954 [Act 134];
*NOTE--This Act is made applicable to the Federal Territory of Labuan vide Modification Order
No. P.U. (A) 195/1985.
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ACT 164
"appointed date" means the date of coming into operation of this
Act;
"Chief Minister", in relation to--
(a) the States of Malaysia, means the Chief Minister or Menteri
Besar of a State;
(b) the Federal Territory means the Minister;
(c) the Malaysian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate,
means the Malaysian Ambassador, High Commissioner
or Consul respectively;
"child of the marriage" means a child of both parties to the
marriage in question or a child of one party to the marriage accepted
as one of the family by the other party; and "child" in this context
includes an illegitimate child of, and a child adopted by, either of
the parties to the marriage in pursuance of an adoption order made
under any written law relating to adoption;
"court" means the High Court or a Judge thereof or, where a
Sessions Court Judge has jurisdiction by virtue of subsection (2),
the Sessions Court or a Sessions Court Judge of that Court;
"marriage district" means an area which has been defined as a
marriage district under subsection 28(5), or if no such area has
been so defined in any State or Federal Territory, that State or
Federal Territory;
"marriage register" includes--
(a) any register of marriages kept under any written law
relating to registration of marriages prior to the appointed
date;
(b) marriage registers constituted under subsection 46A(1)
and section 46B; and
(c) microfilms, computers and other forms of records made
under subsection 46A(2);
"marriage with another woman" means marriage of any person,
being married to any other woman during the life of the former
wife, whether the second marriage has taken place within Malaysia
or elsewhere;
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"Minister" means the Minister charged with responsibility for
the registration of marriages;
"minor" means a person who is under the age of twenty-one
years and who is not a widow or widower;
"native", in relation to Sabah and Sarawak, has the same meaning
assigned to it in Clause (6) of Article 161A of the Federal Constitution;
"Registrar" means a Registrar of Marriages appointed under this
Act and includes the Registrar General, an Assistant Registrar
General, a Superintendent Registrar, a Deputy Registrar and an
Assistant Registrar of Marriages;
"Registrar General" means the Registrar General of Marriages
and includes a Deputy Registrar General of Marriages appointed
under this Act.
(2) The Yang di-Pertuan Agong may, on the advice of the Chief
Judge, by notification in the Gazette, confer upon any Sessions
Court Judge jurisdiction to deal with any matter under this Act.
Application
3. (1) Except as is otherwise expressly provided this Act shall
apply to all persons in Malaysia and to all persons domiciled in
Malaysia but are resident outside Malaysia.
(2) For the purposes of this Act, a person who is a citizen of
Malaysia shall be deemed, until the contrary is proved, to be
domiciled in Malaysia.
(3) This Act shall not apply to a Muslim or to any person who
is married under Islamic law and no marriage of one of the parties
which professes the religion of Islam shall be solemnized or registered
under this Act; but nothing herein shall be construed to prevent
a court before which a petition for divorce has been made under
section 51 from granting a decree of divorce on the petition of one
party to a marriage where the other party has converted to Islam,
and such decree shall, notwithstanding any other written law to the
contrary, be valid against the party to the marriage who has so
converted to Islam.
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(4) This Act shall not apply to any native of Sabah or Sarawak
or any aborigine of Peninsular Malaysia whose marriage and divorce
is governed by native customary law or aboriginal custom unless--
(a) he elects to marry under this Act;
(b) he contracted his marriage under the Christian Marriage
Ordinance [Sabah Cap. 24]; or
(c) he contracted his marriage under the Church and Civil
Marriage Ordinance [Sarawak Cap. 92].
Subsisting valid marriages deemed to be registered under this
Act and dissoluble only under this Act
4. (1) Nothing in this Act shall affect the validity of any marriage
solemnized under any law, religion, custom or usage prior to the
appointed date.
(2) Such marriage, if valid under the law, religion, custom or
usage under which it was solemnized, shall be deemed to be
registered under this Act.
(3) Every such marriage, unless void under the law, religion,
custom or usage under which it was solemnized, shall continue
until dissolved--
(a) by the death of one of the parties;
(b) by order of a court of competent jurisdiction; or
(c) by a decree of nullity made by a court of competent
jurisdiction.
PART II
MONOGAMOUS MARRIAGES
Disability to contract marriages otherwise than under this Act
5. (1) Every person who on the appointed date is lawfully married
under any law, religion, custom or usage to one or more spouses
shall be incapable, during the continuance of such marriage or
marriages, of contracting a valid marriage under any law, religion,
custom or usage with any other person, whether the first mentioned
marriage or the purported second mentioned marriage is contracted
within Malaysia or outside Malaysia.
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(2) Every person who on the appointed date is lawfully married
under any law, religion, custom or usage to one or more spouses
and who subsequently ceases to be married to such spouse or all
such spouses, shall, if he thereafter marries again, be incapable
during the continuance of that marriage of contracting a valid
marriage with any other person under any law, religion, custom
or usage, whether the second mentioned marriage or purported
third mentioned marriage is contracted within Malaysia or outside
Malaysia.
(3) Every person who on the appointed date is unmarried and
who after that date marries under any law, religion, custom or
usage shall be incapable during the continuance of such marriage
of contracting a valid marriage with any other person under any
law, religion, custom or usage, whether the first mentioned marriage
or the purported second mentioned marriage is contracted within
Malaysia or outside Malaysia.
(4) After the appointed date, no marriage under any law, religion,
custom or usage may be solemnized except as provided in Part III.
Avoidance of marriage by subsisting prior marriage
6. (1) Every marriage contracted in contravention of section 5
shall be void.
(2) If any male person lawfully married under any law, religion,
custom or usage shall during the continuance of such marriage
contract another union with any woman, such woman shall have
no right of succession or inheritance on the death intestate of such
male person.
(3) Nothing in this section shall affect the liability of any person
to pay such maintenance as may be directed to be paid by him
under this Act or any other written law.
Offence
7. (1) Any person lawfully married under any law, religion, custom
or usage who during the continuance of such marriage purports to
contract a marriage under any law, religion, custom or usage in
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ACT 164
contravention of section 5 shall be deemed to commit the offence
of marrying again during the life-time of husband or wife, as the
case may be, within the meaning of section 494 of the Penal Code
[Act 574].
(2) Where an offence under section 494 of the Penal Code is
committed by virtue of subsection (1) by any person in any place
outside Malaysia he may be dealt with in respect of that offence
as if it had been committed at any place within Malaysia at which
he may be found or to which he may have been brought in
consequence of any proceeding for his extradition to Malaysia
from any place outside Malaysia:
Provided that any proceeding against any person under this
subsection which would be a bar to subsequent proceedings against
him for the same offence if the offence had been committed in
Malaysia shall be a bar to further proceedings against him under
t h e Extradition Ordinance 1958 [ Ord. 2 of 1958 ]* or the
Commonwealth Fugitive Criminals Act 1967 [Act 54 of 1967]* in
respect of the same offence outside Malaysia.
Continuance of marriage
8.  Every marriage solemnized in Malaysia after the appointed
date, other than a marriage which is void under this Act, shall
continue until dissolved--
(a) by the death of one of the parties;
(b) by order of a court of competent jurisdiction; or
(c) by a decree made by a court of competent jurisdiction
that the marriage is null and void.
PART III
MARRIAGE
Restrictions on marriage
Persons by whom marriages may be solemnized
9.  A marriage under this Act may be solemnized only by a
Registrar.
*NOTE--The Extradition Ordinance 1958 [Ord. 2 of 1958] and the Commonwealth Fugitive
Criminals Act 1967 [Act 54 of 1967] has since been repealed by the Extradition Act 1992
[Act 479]see section 54 of Act 479.
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Avoidance of marriages where either party is under minimum
age for marriage
10.  Any marriage purported to be solemnized in Malaysia shall
be void if at the date of the marriage either party is under the age
of eighteen years unless, for a female who has completed her
sixteenth year, the solemnization of such marriage was authorized
by a licence granted by the Chief Minister under subsection 21(2).
Prohibited relationships
11. (1) No person shall marry his or her grandparent, parent,
child or grandchild, sister or brother, great-aunt or great-uncle,
aunt or uncle, niece or nephew, great-niece or great-nephew, as the
case may be:
Provided that nothing in this subsection shall prohibit any person
who is a Hindu from marrying under Hindu law or custom his
sister's daughter (niece) or her mothers's brother (uncle).
(2) No person shall marry the grandparent or parent, child or
grandchild of his or her spouse or former spouse.
(3) No person shall marry the former spouse of his or her
grandparent or parent, child or grandchild.
(4) No person shall marry a person whom he or she has adopted
or by whom he or she has been adopted.
(5) For the purposes of this section, relationship of the half
blood is as much an impediment as relationship of the full blood
and it is immaterial whether a person was born legitimate or
illegitimate.
(6) The Chief Minister may in his discretion, notwithstanding
this section, grant a licence under this section for a marriage to
be solemnized if he is satisfied that such marriage is unobjectionable
under the law, religion, custom or usage applicable to the parties
thereto and, where such marriage is solemnized under such licence,
such marriage shall be deemed to be valid.
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Requirement of consent
12. (1) A person who has not completed his or her twenty-first
year shall, notwithstanding that he or she shall have attained the
age of majority as prescribed by the Age of Majority Act 1971
[Act 21], nevertheless be required, before marrying, to obtain the
consent in writing--
(a) of his or her father;
(b) if the person is illegitimate or his or her father is dead,
of his or her mother;
(c) if the person is an adopted child, of his or her adopted
father, or if the adopted father is dead, of his or her
adopted mother; or
(d) if both his or her parents (natural or adopted) are dead,
of the person standing in loco parentis to him or her
before he or she attains that age,
but in any other case no consent shall be required.
(2) Where the court is satisfied that the consent of any person
to a proposed marriage is being withheld unreasonably or all those
persons who could give consent under subsection (1) are dead or
that it is impracticable to obtain such consent, the court may, on
application, give consent and such consent shall have the same
effect as if it had been given by the person whose consent was
required by subsection (1).
(3) An application to the High Court under this section shall be
made to a Judge in chambers.
(4) When an application is made to the High Court in consequence
of a refusal to give consent, notice of the application shall be
served upon the person who refused to give consent.
(5) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Part consent
to the marriage of a minor shall not be necessary if the minor has
been previously married.
(6) There shall be no appeal from an order of a Judge under this
section.
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Preliminaries to marriage
Non-application of sections 14 to 20 inclusive to certain parties
to a marriage
13.  Sections 14 to 20 inclusive shall not apply to parties to a
marriage to be solemnized in accordance with section 24.
Notice of marriage
14.  Whenever any person desire to marry in Malaysia each of the
parties to the intended marriage shall sign and give a notice in the
prescribed form in person to the Registrar of the marriage district
in which such party has been resident for the period of seven days
immediately preceding the giving of such notice:
Provided that when both the parties have been resident for the
required period in the same marriage district only one such notice
need be given by them.
Publication of notice
15.  Upon receipt of such notice, the Registrar shall cause such
notice to be published by posting a copy in a conspicuous place
in his office visible to the public and shall keep the same so posted
up until he grants his certificate under section 17 or until three
months have elapsed, whichever is the earlier.
Declaration to accompany notice
16. (1) Every notice required to be given under section 14 shall
be accompanied by a written declaration--
(a) that one or both the parties to the intended marriage has
been resident in the marriage district for the period of
seven days immediately preceding the giving of such
notice;
(b) either--
(i) that each of the parties is twenty-one years of age
or over, or, if not, is a widower or widow, as the
case may be; or
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(ii) if either party is a minor who has not been previously
married and the female party not under the age of
sixteen years, that the consent of the appropriate
person mentioned in section 12 has been given in
writing, or has been dispensed with, or has been
given by a court in accordance with the provisions
of section 12;
(c) that there is no lawful impediment to the marriage; and
(d) that neither of the parties to the intended marriage is
married under any law, religion, custom or usage to any
person other than the person with whom such marriage
is proposed to be contracted.
(2) Every such declaration shall be in writing in the prescribed
form and shall be made by the person giving such notice in the
presence of the Registrar who shall attest the same; if such person
does not understand Bahasa Malaysia, the Registrar shall ascertain
whether such person is cognisant of the purport of the declaration
and, if not shall translate or cause to be translated in his presence
the declaration to such person into the language which he understands
and shall certify on the declaration that such translation has been
duly made or is not required as the case may be.
Issue of certificate for marriage
17.  The Registrar, on being satisfied that the declaration complied
with the requirements stated in section 16, shall at any time after
the expiration of twenty-one days from the date of publication of
the notice under section 15 and upon payment to him of the prescribed
fee, issue his certificate for marriage in the prescribed form.
Marriage to take place within six months
18.  Subject to section 20, if the marriage does not take place
within six months after the date of publication of the notice, the
notice and all proceedings consequent thereon shall be void and
fresh notice shall be given before the parties can lawfully marry.
Caveat
19. (1) Any person, on payment of the prescribed fee, may enter
a caveat with the Registrar against the issue of a certificate for the
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marriage of any person named in the caveat and notice of whose
intended marriage has been given to the Registrar.
(2) A caveat entered under this section shall contain the name
and place of residence of the person entering the caveat and the
grounds of objection upon which the caveat is founded and shall
be signed by the person entering the caveat.
Proceedings if caveat entered
20. (1) If a caveat is entered in accordance with section 19 the
Registrar shall not issue a certificate for the marriage against
which the caveat has been entered unless--
(a) after enquiring into the matter of the said objection, he
is satisfied that it ought not to prevent the issue of such
certificate for the marriage; or
(b) the caveat is withdrawn by the person who entered it:
Provided that in cases of doubt it shall be lawful for the Registrar
to refer the matter of any such caveat to the High Court which shall
decide upon the same.
(2) Where the Registrar has refused to issue the certificate for
marriage the person applying for the same shall have a right of
appeal to the High Court which shall thereupon either confirm the
refusal or direct the grant of the certificate for marriage.
(3) The High Court may require proof of the allegations contained
in the caveat in a summary way and may hear evidence in support
of and in opposition to the objection.
(4) The proceeding under this section shall be before a Judge
in chambers.
(5) There shall be no appeal from a decision of a Judge under
this section.
(6) If a caveat is entered in accordance with section 19, then,
notwithstanding section 18, no fresh notice need be given and the
parties may lawfully marry within three months from the date on
which the Registrar issues the certificate for marriage.
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ACT 164
(7) If the High Court declares the grounds of objections to be
frivolous and such as ought not to prevent the issue of the certificate
for marriage the person entering the caveat shall be liable for the
costs of all proceedings relating thereto and for damages to be
recovered by suit or action by the party against whose marriage
such caveat was entered.
Licence
21. (1) The Chief Minister, upon proof being made to him by
statutory declaration that there is no lawful impediment to the
proposed marriage, and upon his being satisfied that the necessary
consent, if any, to such marriage has been obtained, or that the
consent has been dispensed with or given under section 12 may,
if he shall think fit, dispense with the giving of notice, and with
the issue of a certificate for marriage, and may grant his licence
in the prescribed form, authorizing the solemnization of a marriage
between the parties named in such licence.
(2) The Chief Minister may in his discretion grant a licence
under this section authorizing the solemnization of a marriage
although the female party to the marriage is under the age of
eighteen years, but not in any case before her completion of sixteen
years.
(3) The Chief Minister on being satisfied, by statutory declaration
or otherwise as to him seems proper, that it is more convenient
that a marriage under section 23 be solemnized in some place other
than in the office of a Registrar may issue a licence in the prescribed
form for such purpose.
(4) A licence authorizing a marriage to be solemnized in a place
other than the office of a Registrar shall specify the place in which
such marriage may be solemnized.
(5) If the marriage authorized by a licence under this section
is not solemnized within one month from the date of the licence
the licence shall become void.
(6) (a) The Chief Minister may in writing delegate his power
under this section to the Registrar General, Assistant Registrar
General or Superintendent Registrar and may at any time revoke
any such delegation.
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(b) No delegation under paragraph (a) shall be deemed to divest
the Chief Minister of his power under this section and he may, if
he thinks fit, exercise such power notwithstanding any such
delegation.
Solemnization of marriages
Solemnization of marriages
22. (1) Every marriage under this Act shall be solemnized--
(a) in the office of a Registrar with open doors within the
hours of six in the morning and seven in the evening;
(b) in such place other than in the office of a Registrar at
such time as may be authorized by a valid licence issued
under subsection 21(3); or
(c) in a church or temple or at any place of marriage in
accordance with section 24 at any such time as may be
permitted by the religion, custom or usage which the
parties to the marriage or either of them profess or practise.
(2) A valid marriage may be solemnized under paragraph (1)(a)
or (b) by a Registrar if a certificate for the marriage issued by the
Registrar or Registrars concerned or a licence authorizing the
marriage is delivered to him.
(3) A valid marriage may be solemnized under paragraph (1)(c)
by an Assistant Registrar if he is satisfied by statutory declaration
that--
(a) either--
(i) each of the parties is twenty-one years of age or
over, or, if not, is a widower or widow, as the case
may be, or
(ii) if either party is a minor who has not been previously
married and the female party not under the age of
sixteen years that the consent of the appropriate
person mentioned in section 12 has been given in
writing, or has been dispensed with, or has been
given by a court in accordance with section 12;
(b) there is no lawful impediment to the marriage;
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ACT 164
(c) neither of the parties to the intended marriage is married
under any law, religion, custom or usage to any person
other than the person with whom such marriage is proposed
to be contracted; and
(d) in so far as the intended marriage is a Christian marriage
and is to be solemnized in accordance with the rites,
ceremonies or usages of a Christian religious denomination,
the provisions of the canons of such religious denomination
relating to the publication of banns or the giving notice
of the intended marriage have been complied with or
lawfully dispensed with in accordance with such canons.
(4) Every marriage purported to be solemnized in Malaysia
shall be void unless a certificate for marriage or a licence has been
issued by the Registrar or Chief Minister or a statutory declaration
under subsection (3) has been delivered to the Registrar or Assistant
Registrar, as the case may be.
(5) Every marriage shall be solemnized in the presence of at
least two credible witnesses besides the Registrar.
(6) No marriage shall be solemnized unless the Registrar is
satisfied that both the parties to the marriage freely consent to the
marriage.
Solemnization of a civil marriage performed in office of a
Registrar or elsewhere
23.  The Registrar acting under paragraph 22(1)(a) or (b) shall,
after delivery to him of a certificate for the marriage issued by the
Registrar or Registrars concerned or a licence authorizing the
marriage, address the parties in the following words, either directly
or through an interpreter:
"Do I understand that you A.B. and you C.D. are here of your
own free will for the purpose of becoming man and wife?".
Upon their answering in the affirmative he shall proceed thus:
"Take notice then that, by this solemnization of your marriage
before these witnesses here present according to law, you consent
to be legally married for life to each other, and that this marriage
cannot be dissolved during your lifetime except by a valid judgment
of the court and if either of you shall, during the lifetime of the
other, contract another marriage, howsoever and wheresoever
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solemnized, while this marriage subsists, you will thereby be
committing an offence against the law.".
Next, the Registrar shall enquire of the parties, directly or through
an interpreter, whether they know of any lawful impediment why
they should not be joined together in matrimony. Upon their answering
in the negative he shall enquire, directly or through an interpreter,
of each of the parties whether he or she will take her or him to
be his or her lawful wedded wife or husband. Upon their answering
in the affirmative, the Registrar, the parties and the witnesses shall
comply with section 25.
Solemnization of a marriage through religious ceremony, custom
or usage
24. (1) Where any clergyman or minister or priest of any church
or temple is appointed by the Minister to act as Assistant Registrar
of Marriages for any marriage district, such clergyman or minister
or priest may after delivery to him of a statutory declaration under
subsection 22(3) solemnize any marriage, if the parties to the
marriage or either of them profess the religion to which the church
or temple belong, in accordance with the rites and ceremonies of
that religion.
(2) Where any person is appointed by the Minister to act as
Assistant Registrar of Marriages for any marriage district such
person may after delivery to him a statutory declaration under
subsection 22(3) solemnize any marriage in accordance with the
custom or usage which the parties to the marriage or either of them
practise.
(3) An Assistant Registrar solemnizing a marriage under this
section shall in some part of the ceremony remind the parties that
either of them shall be incapable during the continuance of the
marriage of contracting a valid marriage with any other person and
if either of them shall marry during the continuance of the marriage
he or she shall commit an offence.
(4) In this section--
"priest of a temple" includes any member of a committee of
management or governing body of that temple and any committee
member of any religious association;
"priest of a church" includes any officer or elder of the church.
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Entry in marriage register
25. (1) Immediately after the solemnization under section 23 or
24 is performed the Registrar shall enter the prescribed particulars
in the marriage register.
(2) Such entry shall be attested by the parties to the marriage
and by two witnesses other than the Registrar present at the
solemnization of the marriage.
(3) Such entry shall then be signed by the Registrar solemnizing
the marriage.
Solemnization of marriages in Malaysian Embassies, etc., abroad
26. (1) A marriage may be solemnized by the Registrar appointed
under subsection 28(4) at the Malaysian Embassy, High Commission
or Consulate in any country which has not notified the Government
of Malaysia of its objection to solemnization of marriages at such
Malaysian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate:
Provided that the Registrar shall be satisfied--
(a) that one or both of the parties to the marriage is a citizen
of Malaysia;
(b) that each party has the capacity to marry according to
this Act;
(c) that, where either party is not domiciled in Malaysia, the
proposed marriage, if solemnized, will be regarded as
valid in the country where such party is domiciled; and
(d) that notice of the proposed marriage has been given at
least twenty-one days and not more than three months
previously, which notice has been published both at the
office of the Registrar in the Embassy, High Commission
or Consulate where the marriage is to be solemnized and
at the Registry of the marriage district in Malaysia where
each party to the marriage was last ordinarily resident
and no caveat or notice of objection has been received.
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(2) The procedure for solemnization and registration of marriages
at a Malaysian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate shall be
similar in all respects to that which applies to marriages solemnized
and registered in Malaysia under this Act as if the Registrar appointed
for a foreign country were a Registrar in Malaysia.
(3) A marriage solemnized under this section shall, for the
purposes of this Act, be deemed to be a marriage solemnized in
Malaysia, and subsection 7(2) shall apply mutatis mutandis in
relation to any offence under this Act, in respect of such marriage.
PART IV
REGISTRATION OF MARRIAGES
Registration
27.  The marriage of every person ordinarily resident in Malaysia
and of every person resident abroad who is a citizen of or domiciled
in Malaysia after the appointed date shall be registered pursuant
to this Act.
Appointment of Registrar General, Registrars and Assistant
Registrars of Marriages
28. (1) The Yang di-Pertuan Agong may appoint any public officer
to be Registrar General of Marriages for the purposes of this Act
who shall have general supervision and control of Registrars and
of the registration of marriages under this Act and any other public
officer to be Deputy Registrar General of Marriages.
(2) The Minister may appoint so many public officers by name
or by office, to be--
(a) Assistant Registrar General of Marriages;
(b) Superintendent Registrars of Marriages; and
(c) Registrars of Marriages and Deputy Registrars of Marriages
for such marriage district in any State and the Federal
Territory as may be specified in the appointment.
(3) The Minister may, in addition, appoint by name or by office,
any person whether public officer or not, to be Assistant Registrar
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of Marriages in respect of any race, clan, association, church or
temple, for such marriage district and for such term as may be
specified in the appointment, and every such person so appointed
and similarly every Registrar, Deputy Registrar and other Assistant
Registrar, shall be deemed, to be a public servant within the meaning
of the Penal Code:
P r o v i d e d that such appointment shall be made on the
recommendation or nomination of the recognised representatives
of the race, clan, the committee of management of the association
or the governing authority of any religious denomination, church
or temple, as the case may be.
(4) The Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, appoint
any member of the diplomatic staff of Malaysia in any country,
either by name or by office, to be Registrar of Marriages for the
purposes of this Act in that country.
(5) The Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, declare
any area in a State and the Federal Territory to be a marriage
district and define the boundaries of each district; and where an
Assistant Registrar of Marriages is appointed under subsection (3),
the Minister may define different areas to be marriage districts for
any particular race, clan, association, church or temple.
(6) The Assistant Registrar General and the Superintendent
Registrar may subject to any general or special direction of the
Registrar General exercise any of the powers and duties of the
Registrar General conferred and imposed by this Act.
Books and Registers to be kept of all marriages in Malaysia
29.  Every Registrar shall keep a marriage register and such books
as are prescribed by this Act or rules made thereunder and every
marriage solemnized in Malaysia by the Registrar shall immediately
after the solemnization thereof be registered by the Registrar in
his marriage register.
Copies of entries to be sent to Registrar General
30. (1) The Registrar solemnizing the marriage shall deliver to
the Registrar General the original and to the Superintendent Registrar
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the duplicate of every entry made in the marriage register as
attested by the parties to the marriage and by the witnesses and
as signed by him.
(2) All such copies shall be kept by the Registrar General and
the Superintendent Registrar in such manner as may be prescribed
and shall constitute the marriage registers of the Registrar General
and the Superintendent Registrar respectively.
Registration of foreign marriage by a person citizen of or
domiciled in Malaysia
31. (1) Where any person who is a citizen of or is domiciled in
Malaysia has contracted a marriage abroad, not being a marriage
registered under section 26, such person shall--
(a) within six months after the date of such marriage, appear
before the nearest or most conveniently available Registrar
abroad; and
(b) register such marriage.
(1A) Where before the expiry of six months under paragraph
(1)(a), either or both parties return to Malaysia and the marriage
was not registered, such person shall--
(a) within six months of arrival in Malaysia, appear before
any Registrar; and
(b) register such marriage.
(1B) A person who applies to register a marriage under subsection
(1) or (1A) shall--
(a) produce to such Registrar the certificate of such marriage
or such evidence either oral or documentary as may satisfy
the Registrar that such marriage took place;
(b) furnish such particulars as may be required by the Registrar
for the due registration of such marriage; and
(c) apply in the prescribed form for the registration of the
marriage to be effected and subscribe the declaration
therein.
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(2) A Registrar may dispense with the appearance of one of the
parties to the marriage if he is satisfied that there exists good and
sufficient reason for the absence of such party and in such case
the entry in the marriage register shall include a statement of the
reason for his or her absence.
(3) Upon the registration of any marriage under this section, the
Registrar shall deliver the triplicate copy of the register to the
parties to the marriage and the original to the Registrar General
and the duplicate to the Superintendent Registrar who shall cause
such copies to be bound together to constitute the Foreign Marriages
Register.
(4) Where the parties to a marriage required to be registered
under this section have not appeared before a Registrar within the
period as prescribed in subsection (1), the marriage may, upon
application to the Registrar, be registered by him on payment of
such penalty as may be prescribed.
Unlawful registers
32. No person other than the Registrar General or a Superintendent
Registrar appointed under this Act shall--
(a) keep any book being or purporting to be a register kept
in accordance with the provisions of this Act; or
(b) issue to any person any document being or purporting to
be a copy of a certificate of a marriage or a certificate
of marriage registered by the Registrar.
Voluntary registration of marriages previously solemnized under
religion or custom
33. (1) Notwithstanding section 4, the parties to any marriage
solemnized under any law, religion, custom or usage prior to the
appointed date may, if the marriage has not been registered, apply
at any time to a Registrar in the prescribed form for the registration
of the marriage.
(2) The Registrar may require the parties to the marriage to
appear before him and to produce such evidence of the marriage,
either oral or documentary, as he may require and to furnish such
other particulars as may be required by him.
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(3) The Registrar may on being satisfied of the truth of the
statements contained in the application register the marriage by
entering the particulars thereof in the marriage register prescribed
for this purpose.
(4) The entry of the marriage in the marriage register shall be
signed by the Registrar making the entry and by both the parties
to the marriage, if available, otherwise, by whichever party shall
appear before the Registrar for effecting registration of the marriage.
(5) Upon the registration of the marriage, the Registrar shall
deliver the triplicate copy of the register to the parties to the
marriage, the original to the Registrar General and the duplicate
to the Superintendent Registrar.
(6) The Registrar shall not register a marriage under this section
if he is satisfied that the marriage is void under this Act.
Legal effect of registration
34.  Nothing in this Act or the rules made thereunder shall be
construed to render valid or invalid any marriage which otherwise
is invalid or valid merely by reason of its having been or not
having been registered.
PART V
PENALTIES AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
RELATING TO THE SOLEMNIZATION AND
REGISTRATION OF MARRIAGES
Omission to appear before Registrar within prescribed time
35.  Any person who, being required by section 31 to appear
before a Registrar, omits to do so within the prescribed time shall,
on conviction, be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding
one year or to a fine not exceeding one thousand ringgit or to both.
Contravention of section 32
36.  Any person who contravenes section 32 shall, on conviction,
be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to
a fine not exceeding one thousand ringgit or to both; and for a
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second or subsequent conviction shall be liable to imprisonment
for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine not exceeding two
thousand ringgit or to both.
Interference with marriage
Any person who uses any force or threat--
37.
(a) to compel a person to marry against his will; or
(b) to prevent a person who has attained the age of twenty-
one years from contracting a valid marriage,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to
imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to a fine not
exceeding three thousand ringgit or to both.
False oath, etc., for procuring marriage
38.  Any person who for the purpose of procuring any marriage
under this Act intentionally makes any false declaration or signs
any false notice or certificate required by this Act shall be guilty
of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to imprisonment
for a term not exceeding three years or to a fine not exceeding
three thousand ringgit or to both.
False allegation in caveat
39. (1) Any person who enters a caveat against the issue by a
R e g i s t r a r of a certificate for marriage and makes any false
representation in or in support of the caveat knowing or believing
such representation to be false or not having reason to believe it
to be true, shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction,
be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or
to a fine not exceeding three thousand ringgit or to both.
(2) Any person who enters a caveat against the issue of a certificate
for marriage and pretends or falsely represents himself to be a
person whose consent to the marriage is required by law knowing
or believing such pretence or representation to be false or not
believing it to be true shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on
conviction, be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding
three years or to a fine not exceeding three thousand ringgit or to
both.
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Unauthorized solemnization of marriages
40.  Any person who, not being authorized thereto under this Act,
solemnizes or purports to solemnize any marriage, shall be guilty
of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to imprisonment
for a term not exceeding ten years and to a fine not exceeding
fifteen thousand ringgit.
Offences relating to solemnization of marriages
41. (1) Any person who knowingly and contrary to this Act
solemnizes or purports to solemnize or officiate at a marriage--
(a) without first receiving a certificate for the marriage or a
licence dispensing with such certificate;
(b) otherwise than in the presence of at least two credible
witnesses other than the person solemnizing the marriage;
or
(c) after the expiration of six months from the date of the
notice of marriage given under section 14,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to
imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years and to a fine
not exceeding five thousand ringgit.
(2) Any Registrar who knowingly and contrary to this Act issues
any certificate for marriage--
(a) without publishing the notice of marriage as required by
section 15;
(b) when a caveat has been entered under section 19 without
having first complied with section 20; or
(c) contrary to section 16,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to
imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years and to a fine
not exceeding five thousand ringgit.
(3) Any person who marries or purports to marry or goes through
a form of marriage with any person contrary to any of the provisions
of Part III shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction,
be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years and
to a fine not exceeding five thousand ringgit.
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Destroying or falsifying register book
Any person who by himself or another--
42.
(a) wilfully destroys or injures any register of marriages or
any certificate thereout, or any part thereof or any
authenticated extract therefrom;
(b) falsely makes or counterfeits any part of such register or
certificate; or
(c) wilfully inserts any false entry in any register or certificate
or authenticated extract,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to
imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years and to a fine
not exceeding ten thousand ringgit.
Sanction for prosecution
43.  No prosecution for an offence punishable under this Act
shall be instituted except with the authority in writing of the Public
Prosecutor.
Correction of errors
44. (1) If the Registrar General is satisfied by statutory declaration
or otherwise that any entry in a marriage register is erroneous in
form or in substance, he may authorize to correct the error by entry
in the margin, without altering the original entry.
(2) Every marginal entry so made shall be signed and dated by
the Registrar.
(3) A copy of such correction shall be sent forthwith to the
Registrar General or the Superintendent Registrar for a similar
correction to be made in his marriage register.
Inspection and search
45.  The Registrar General or the Superintendent Registrar may,
on application made by any person who shall state his reason for
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making the application and on payment of the prescribed fee, if
he is satisfied with the reasons therefor--
(a) allow the marriage register and index kept by him to be
inspected;
(b) furnish the applicant with an extract of any entry in the
marriage register certified under his hand and seal of
office.
Proof
46.  Every marriage register kept under this Act and any copy of
such entry certified by the Registrar shall be prima facie evidence
of the dates and acts contained in such marriage register.
Damaged registers
46A. (1) The Registrar General may cause the entries of any marriage
register found to be damaged, mutilated or illegible to be transferred
to a new marriage register.
(2) The Registrar General may--
(a) cause any or all marriage registers to be photographed on
microfilms; or
(b) cause particulars in any or all marriage registers to be
recorded on computers or in any other manner or form
he thinks fit, subject to such precautions as he considers
necessary in the interest of its safety and the privacy of
the information.
Missing register
46B.  Where any marriage register is for any reason missing or
destroyed and the Registrar General is satisfied from evidence
adduced that any marriage was registered, he may cause such
marriage to be re-registered.
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PART VI
DIVORCE
Principles of law to be applied
47.  Subject to the provisions contained in this Part, the court
shall in all suits and proceedings hereunder act and give relief on
principles which in the opinion of the court are, as nearly as may
be, conformable to the principles on which the High Court of
Justice in England acts and gives relief in matrimonial proceedings.
Extent of power to grant relief
48. (1) Nothing in this Act shall authorize the court to make any
decree of divorce except--
(a) where the marriage has been registered or deemed to be
registered under this Act; or
(b) where the marriage between the parties was contracted
under a law providing that, or in contemplation of which,
marriage is monogamous; and
(c) where the domicile of the parties to the marriage at the
time when the petition is presented is in Malaysia.
(2) Nothing in this Act shall authorize the court to make any
decree of judicial separation except--
(a) where the marriage has been registered or deemed to be
registered under this Act; or
(b) where the marriage between the parties was contracted
under a law providing that, or in contemplation of which,
marriage is monogamous; and
(c) where both the parties to the marriage reside in Malaysia
at the time of the commencement of proceedings.
Additional jurisdiction in proceedings by a wife
49. (1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in paragraph
48(1)(c), the court shall have jurisdiction to entertain proceedings
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by a wife under this Part, although the husband is not domiciled
or resident in Malaysia if--
(a) the wife has been deserted by the husband, or the husband
has been deported from Malaysia under any law for the
time being in force relating to the deportation of persons,
and the husband was before the desertion or deportation
domiciled in Malaysia; or
(b) the wife is resident in Malaysia and has been ordinarily
resident in Malaysia for a period of two years immediately
preceding the commencement of the proceedings.
(2) In any proceedings in which the High Court has jurisdiction
by virtue of this section, the issues shall be determined in accordance
with the law which would be applicable thereto if the parties were
domiciled or resident in Malaysia.
(3) In this section references to deportation from Malaysia shall
be construed as including banishment or expulsion under any written
law.
Restriction on petitions within two years of marriage
50. (1) Subject to subsection (2), no petition for divorce shall be
presented to the court before the expiration of the period of two
years from the date of the marriage (hereafter in this section
referred to as "the specified period").
(2) A Judge of the court may, on an application made to him,
allow the presentation of a petition for divorce within the specified
period on the ground that the case is one of exceptional circumstances
or hardship suffered by the petitioner; but in determining the
application the Judge shall have regard to the interests of any child
of the marriage and to the question whether there is a reasonable
probability of a reconciliation between the parties during the specified
period.
(3) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prohibit the
presentation of a petition based upon matters which occurred before
the expiration of the specified period.
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Dissolution on ground of conversion to Islam
51. (1) Where one party to a marriage has converted to Islam, the
other party who has not so converted may petition for divorce:
Provided that no petition under this section shall be presented
before the expiration of the period of three months from the date
of the conversion.
(2) The Court upon dissolving the marriage may make provision
for the wife or husband, and for the support, care and custody of
the children of the marriage, if any, and may attach any conditions
to the decree of the dissolution as it thinks fit.
(3) Section 50 shall not apply to any petition for divorce under
this section.
Dissolution by mutual consent
52.  If husband and wife mutually agree that their marriage should
be dissolved they may after the expiration of two years from the
date of their marriage present a joint petition accordingly and the
court may, if it thinks fit, make a decree of divorce on being
satisfied that both parties freely consent, and that proper provision
is made for the wife and for the support, care and custody of the
children, if any, of the marriage, and may attach such conditions
to the decree of divorce as it thinks fit.
Breakdown of marriage to be sole ground for divorce
53. (1) Either party to a marriage may petition for a divorce on
the ground that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.
(2) The court hearing such petition shall, so far as it reasonably
can, inquire into the facts alleged as causing or leading to the
breakdown of the marriage and, if satisfied that the circumstances
make it just and reasonable to do so, make a decree for its dissolution.
Proof of breakdown
54. (1) In its inquiry into the facts and circumstances alleged as
causing or leading to the breakdown of the marriage, the court
shall have regard to one or more of the following facts, that is to
say:
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(a) that the respondent has committed adultery and the
petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the respondent;
(b) that the respondent has behaved in such a way that the
petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the
respondent;
(c) that the respondent has deserted the petitioner for a
continuous period of at least two years immediately
preceding the presentation of the petition;
(d) that the parties to the marriage have lived apart for a
continuous period of at least two years immediately
preceding the presentation of the petition.
(2) In considering whether it would be just and reasonable to
make a decree the court shall consider all the circumstances, including
the conduct of the parties and how the interests of any child or
children of the marriage or of either party may be affected if the
marriage is dissolved and it may make a decree nisi subject to such
terms and conditions as the court may think fit to attach, but if
it should appear to the court that in all the circumstances it would
be wrong to dissolve the marriage it shall dismiss the petition.
Provisions designed to encourage reconciliation
55. (1) Provision may be made by rules of court for requiring that
before the presentation of a petition for divorce the petitioner shall
have recourse to the assistance and advice of such persons or
bodies as may be made available for the purpose of effecting a
reconciliation between parties to a marriage who have become
estranged.
(2) If at any stage of proceedings for divorce it appears to the
court that there is a reasonable possibility of a reconciliation between
the parties to the marriage, the court may adjourn the proceedings
for such period as it thinks fit to enable attempts to be made to
effect such a reconciliation. The power conferred by the foregoing
provision is additional to any other power of the court to adjourn
proceedings.
Rules to provide for agreements to be referred to court
56.  Provisions may be made by rules of court for enabling the
parties to a marriage, or either of them, on application made either
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before or after the presentation of a petition for divorce, to refer
to the court any agreement or arrangement made or proposed to
be made between them, being an agreement or arrangement which
relates to, arises out of, or is connected with, the proceedings for
divorce which are contemplated or, as the case may be, have
begun, and for enabling the court to express an opinion, should
it think it desirable to do so, as to the reasonableness of the
agreement or arrangement and to give such directions, if any, in
the matter as it thinks fit.
Contents of divorce petition
57. (1) Every petition for divorce shall contain--
(a) particulars of the marriage between the parties and the
names, ages and sex of the children, if any, of the marriage;
(b) particulars of the facts giving the court jurisdiction;
(c) particulars of any previous matrimonial proceedings
between the parties;
(d) a statement of the principal allegations which it will be
sought to prove as evidence of the breakdown of the
marriage;
(e) the terms of any agreement regarding maintenance of the
wife or dependent party and the children, if any, of the
marriage, or the division of any assets acquired through
the joint efforts of the parties or the sole effort of one
party or where no such agreement has been reached, the
petitioner's proposals; and
(f) particulars of the relief sought.
(2) Every petition for a divorce shall state what steps had been
taken to effect a reconciliation.
Damages for adultery may be claimed against co-respondent
58. (1) On a petition for divorce in which adultery is alleged, or
in the answer of a party to the marriage praying for divorce and
alleging adultery, the party shall make the alleged adulterer or
adulteress a co-respondent, unless excused by the court on special
grounds from doing so.
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(2) A petition under subsection (1) may include a prayer that
the co-respondent be condemned in damages in respect of the
alleged adultery.
(3) Where damages have been claimed against a co-respondent--
(a) if, after the close of the evidence for the petitioner, the
court is of the opinion that there is not sufficient evidence
against the co-respondent to justify requiring him or her
to reply, the co-respondent shall be discharged from the
proceedings; or
(b) if, at the conclusion of the hearing, the court is satisfied
that adultery between the respondent and co-respondent
has been proved, the court may award the petitioner such
damages as it may think fit, but so that the award shall
not include any exemplary or punitive element.
Powers of court on claim to damages for adultery
59. (1) The court may award damages against a co-respondent
notwithstanding that the petition against the respondent is dismissed
or adjourned.
(2) The court shall have power, when awarding damages, to
direct that such damages or any part thereof, be vested in trustees
upon trust to pay the income or capital thereof for the benefit of
the minor children, if any, of the marriage or, where the petitioner
is required to pay maintenance to the respondent, in or towards the
payment of such maintenance, and subject thereto in trust for the
petitioner.
(3) Whenever in any petition presented by a husband the alleged
adultery has been established against the co-respondent, the court
may order the co-respondent to pay the whole or any part of the
costs of the proceedings; provided that no such order for costs
shall be made if the respondent was at the time of the adultery
living apart from the husband and living the life of a prostitute or
if the co-respondent had not at the time of the adultery reason to
believe the respondent to be a married woman.
Hearing of petition
60.  If in any proceedings for divorce the respondent alleges against
the petitioner and proves any such fact as is mentioned in section
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54 the court may give the respondent the relief to which the
respondent would have been entitled if the respondent had presented
a petition seeking that relief.
Decree nisi and proceedings thereafter
61. (1) Every decree of divorce shall in the first instance be a
decree nisi and shall not be made absolute before the expiration
of three months from its grant unless the court by general or
special order from time to time fixes a shorter period.
(2) Where a decree nisi of divorce has been granted and no
application for it to be made absolute has been made by the party
to whom it was granted, then, at any time after the expiration of
three months from the earliest date on which that party could have
made such an application, the party against whom it was granted
may make an application to the court and on that application the
court may--
(a) notwithstanding the provisions of the last foregoing
subsection, make the decree absolute;
(b) rescind the decree nisi;
(c) require further inquiry; or
(d) otherwise deal with the case as it thinks fit.
Remarriage of divorced persons
Where a decree of divorce has been made absolute and either--
62.
(a) there is no right of appeal against the decree absolute;
(b) the time for appealing against the decree absolute has
expired without an appeal having been brought; or
(c) an appeal against the decree absolute has been dismissed,
either party to the former marriage may marry again.
Proceedings for decree nisi of presumption of death and divorce
63. (1) Any married person who alleges that reasonable grounds
exist for supposing that the other party to the marriage is dead may
present a petition to the court to have it presumed that the other
party is dead and to have the marriage dissolved, and the court,
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if satisfied that such reasonable grounds exist, may make a decree
nisi of presumption of death and of divorce.
(2) In any such proceedings the fact that for a period of seven
years upwards the other party to the marriage has been continually
absent from the petitioner, and the petitioner has no reason to
believe that the other party has been living within that time, shall
be evidence that he or she is dead until the contrary is proved.
(3) Sections 61 and 62 shall apply to a petition and a decree
under this section as they apply to a petition for divorce and a
decree of divorce respectively.
Judicial Separation
Judicial separation
64. (1) A petition for judicial separation may be presented to the
court by either party to a marriage on the ground and circumstances
set out in section 54 and that section shall, with the necessary
modifications, apply in relation to such a petition as they apply
in relation to a petition for divorce.
(2) Where a court grants a decree of judicial separation it shall
no longer be obligatory for the petitioner to cohabit with the
respondent.
(3) The court may, on an application by petition of the spouse
against whom a decree of judicial separation has been made and
on being satisfied that the allegations in the petition are true,
rescind the decree at any time on the ground that it was obtained
in the absence of the applicant or, if desertion was the ground of
the decree, that there was reasonable cause for the alleged desertion.
Judicial separation no bar to petition for divorce
65. (1) A person shall not be prevented from presenting a petition
for divorce, or the court from pronouncing a decree of divorce, by
reason only that the petitioner has at any time been granted a
judicial separation upon the same or substantially the same facts
as those proved in support of the petition for divorce.
(2) On any such petition for divorce, the court may treat the
decree of judicial separation as sufficient proof of the adultery,
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desertion, or other ground on which it was granted, but the court
shall not pronounce a decree of divorce without receiving evidence
from the petitioner.
(3) For the purposes of any such petition for divorce a period
of desertion immediately preceding the institution of proceedings
for a decree of judicial separation shall, if the parties have not
resumed cohabitation and the decree has been continuously in
force since the granting thereof, be deemed immediately to precede
the presentation of the petition for divorce.
Property of wife after judicial separation
66. (1) The property of a wife who at the time of her death is
judicially separated from her husband shall, in case she dies intestate,
go as it would have gone if her husband had been then dead.
(2) Where, upon any such judicial separation, alimony has been
decreed or ordered to be paid to the wife and the same is not duly
paid by the husband he shall be liable for necessaries supplied for
her use.
Nullity of Marriage
Extent of power to grant relief
67.  Nothing in this Act shall authorize the court to make any
decree of nullity of marriage except--
(a) where the marriage has been registered or deemed to be
registered under this Act; or
(b) where the marriage between the parties was contracted
under a law providing that, or in contemplation of which,
marriage is monogamous; and
(c) where both the parties to the marriage reside in Malaysia
at the time of the commencement of the proceedings.
Petition for nullity of marriage
68.  Any husband or wife may present a petition to the court
praying for a decree of nullity in respect of his or her marriage.
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Grounds on which a marriage is void
69.  A marriage which takes place after the appointed date shall
be void if--
(a) at the time of the marriage either party was already lawfully
married and the former husband or wife of such party
was living at the time of the marriage and such former
marriage was then in force;
(b) a male person marries under eighteen years of age or a
female person who is above sixteen years but under eighteen
years marries without a special licence granted by the
Chief Minister under section 10;
(c) the parties are within the prohibited degrees of relationship
unless the Chief Minister grants a special licence under
subsection 11(6); or
(d) the parties are not respectively male and female.
Grounds on which a marriage is voidable
70.  A marriage which takes place after the appointed date shall
be voidable on the following grounds only, that is to say:
(a) that the marriage has not been consummated owing to the
incapacity of either party to consummate it;
(b) that the marriage has not been consummated owing to the
wilful refusal of the respondent to consummate it;
(c) that either party to the marriage did not validly consent
t o it, whether in consequence of duress, mistake,
unsoundness of mind or otherwise;
(d) that at the time of the marriage either party, though capable
of giving a valid consent, was (whether continuously or
intermittently) a mentally disordered person within the
meaning of the Mental Disorders Ordinance 1952 [Ord.
31 of 1952] of such a kind or to such an extent as to be
unfit for marriage;
(e) that at the time of the marriage the respondent was suffering
from veneral disease in a communicable form;
(f) that at the time of the marriage the respondent was pregnant
by some person other than the petitioner.
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Bars to relief where marriage is voidable
71. (1) The court shall not grant a decree of nullity on any of the
grounds mentioned in section 70 if the respondent satisfied the
court--
(a) that the petitioner, with knowledge that it was open to
him to have the marriage avoided, so conducted himself
in relation to the respondent as to lead the respondent
reasonably to believe that he would not seek to do so;
and
(b) that it would be unjust to the respondent to grant the
decree.
(2) Without prejudice to subsection (1), the court shall not
grant a decree of nullity on the grounds mentioned in paragraph
70(e) or (f) unless it is satisfied that the petitioner was at the time
of the marriage ignorant of the facts alleged.
(3) Subsection (1) replaces, in relation to the grounds mentioned
in section 70, any rule of law whereby a decree may be refused
by reason of approbation, ratification or lack of sincerity on the
part of the petitioner or on similar grounds.
Marriages governed by foreign law or celebrated abroad under
Malaysian law
72.  Where, apart from this Act, any matter affecting the validity
of a marriage would fall to be determined (in accordance with the
rules of Private International Law) by reference to the law of a
country outside Malaysia neither section 69 nor section 70 shall--
(a) preclude the determination of that matter as aforesaid; or
(b) require the application to the marriage of the grounds
there mentioned except so far as applicable in accordance
with those rules.
Effect of decree of nullity in case of voidable marriage
73. (1) If the court finds that the petitioner's case has been proved
it shall pronounce a decree of nullity.
(2) A decree of nullity granted after the appointed date on the
ground that marriage is voidable shall operate to annul the marriage
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only as respects any time after the coming into operation of the
decree, and the marriage shall, notwithstanding the decree, be
treated as if it had existed up to that time.
Collusion not to be bar to relief in cases of nullity
74.  Collusion shall cease to be a bar to the granting of a decree
of nullity.
Legitimacy where nullity decree made
75. (1) Where a decree of nullity is granted in respect of a voidable
marriage, any child who would have been the legitimate child of
the parties to the marriage if at the date of the decree it had been
dissolved instead of being annulled shall be deemed to be their
legitimate child.
(2) Subject to the provisions of this section, the child of a void
marriage shall be treated as the legitimate child of his parent if,
at the time of the solemnization of the marriage, both or either of
the parties reasonably believed that the marriage was valid.
(3) Subsection (2) applies--
(a) only where the father of the child was domiciled in Malaysia
at the time of the marriage; and
(b) in so far as it affects the devolution of any property only
to children born after the appointed date.
(4) This section does not affect any rights under the intestacy
of a person who died before the appointed date, and does not affect
the operation or construction of any disposition coming into operation
before the appointed date.
(5) Notwithstanding section 6 of the Legitimacy Act 1961 all
children who are deemed legitimate at birth by virtue of the provisions
of this section shall be so treated in all respects and not as persons
legitimated at the date of the marriage or of the Legitimacy Act
1961 [Act 60] as provided therein.
(6) Any person claiming otherwise than in a petition for a
declaration of nullity of the relevant marriage that a child shall be
treated as the legitimate child of his parents by virtue of subsection
(3) may apply for a decree to that effect and section 5 of the
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Legitimacy Act 1961 shall apply mutatis mutandis to such petition
but the court shall not make such a decree unless satisfied by the
petitioner that both or either of the parties to the marriage reasonably
believed that the marriage was valid as not being in any way
contrary to section 71.
(7) In this section the following expressions have the meaning
hereby assigned to them, that is to say--
"void marriage" means a marriage declared to be void under
sections 6, 10, 11, subsection 22(4) or section 72;
"disposition" has the same meaning as in the Legitimacy Act
1961,
and any reference in this section to property is a reference to any
real or personal property, or any interest in such property, which
is limited by any disposition (whether subject to a preceding limitation
or charge or not) in such a way as to devolve as nearly as the law
permits, whether or not the property or some interest in the property
may in some event become severed from it.
PART VII
MATTERS INCIDENTAL TO MATRIMONIAL
PROCEEDINGS
Power for court to order division of matrimonial assets
76. (1) The court shall have power, when granting a decree of
divorce or judicial separation, to order the division between the
parties of any assets acquired by them during the marriage by their
joint efforts or the sale of any such assets and the division between
the parties of the proceeds of sale.
(2) In exercising the power conferred by subsection (1) the
court shall have regard to--
(a) the extent of the contributions made by each party in
money, property or work towards the acquiring of the
assets;
(b) any debts owing by either party which were contracted
for their joint benefit;
(c) the needs of the minor children, if any, of the marriage,
and subject to those considerations, the court shall incline towards
equality of division.
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(3) The court shall have power, when granting a decree of
divorce or judicial separation, to order the division between the
parties of any assets acquired during the marriage by the sole
effort of one party to the marriage or the sale of any such assets
and the division between the parties of the proceeds of sale.
(4) In exercising the power conferred by subsection (3) the
court shall have regard to--
(a) the extent of the contributions made by the other party
who did not acquire the assets to the welfare of the
family by looking after the home or caring the family;
(b) the needs of the minor children, if any, of the marriage;
and subject to those considerations, the court may divide the assets
or the proceeds of sale in such proportions as the court thinks
reasonable; but in any case the party by whose effort the assets
were acquired shall receive a greater proportion.
(5) For the purposes of this section, references to assets acquired
during a marriage include assets owned before the marriage by one
party which have been substantially improved during the marriage
by the other party or by their joint efforts.
Maintenance of spouse
Power for court to order maintenance of spouse
77. (1) The court may order a man to pay maintenance to his wife
or former wife--
(a) during the course of any matrimonial proceedings;
(b) when granting or subsequent to the grant of a decree of
divorce or judicial separation;
(c) if, after a decree declaring her presumed to be dead, she
is found to be alive.
(2) The court shall have the corresponding power to order a
woman to pay maintenance to her husband or former husband
where he is incapacitated, wholly or partially, from earning a
livelihood by reason of mental or physical injury or ill-health, and
the court is satisfied that having regard to her means it is reasonable
so to order.
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Assessment of maintenance
78.  In determining the amount of any maintenance to be paid by
a man to his wife or former wife or by a woman to her husband
or former husband, the court shall base its assessment primarily
on the means and needs of the parties, regardless of the proportion
such maintenance bears to the income of the husband or wife as
the case may be, but shall have regard to the degree of responsibility
which the court apportions to each party for the breakdown of the
marriage.
Power for court to order security for maintenance
79. The court may in its discretion when awarding maintenance
order the person liable to pay such maintenance to secure the
whole or any part of it by vesting any property in trustees upon
trust to pay such maintenance or part thereof out of the income
from such property and, subject thereto, in trust for the settlor.
Compounding of maintenance
80.  An agreement for the payment, in money or other property,
of a capital sum in settlement of all future claims to maintenance,
shall not be effective until it has been approved, or approved
subject to conditions, by the court, but when so approved shall be
a good defence to any claim for maintenance.
Duration of orders for maintenance
81.  Except where an order for maintenance is expressed to be for
any shorter period or where any such order has been rescinded,
and subject to section 82, an order for maintenance shall expire--
(a) if the maintenance was unsecured, on the death of the
husband or of the wife, whichever is the earlier;
(b) if the maintenance was secured, on the death of the spouse
in whose favour it was made.
Right to maintenance to cease on remarriage
82. (1) The right of any divorced person to receive maintenance
from his or her former spouse under any order of court shall cease
on his or her marriage to or living in adultery with any other
person.
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(2) The right of any divorced person to receive maintenance
from his or her former spouse under an agreement shall cease on
his or her marriage to or living in adultery with any other person
unless the agreement otherwise provides.
Power for court to vary orders for maintenance
83.  The court may at any time and from time to time vary, or
rescind, any subsisting order for maintenance, whether secured or
unsecured, on the application of the person in whose favour or of
the person against whom the order was made, or, in respect of
secured maintenance, of the legal personal representatives of the
latter, where it is satisfied that the order was based on any
misrepresentation or mistake of fact or where there has been any
material change in the circumstances.
Power for court to vary agreements for maintenance
84.  Subject to section 80, the court may at any time and from
time to time vary the terms of any agreement as to maintenance
made between husband and wife, whether made before or after the
appointed date, where it is satisfied that there has been any material
change in the circumstances and notwithstanding any provision to
the contrary in any such agreement.
Maintenance payable under order of court to be inalienable
85.  Maintenance payable to any person under any order of court
shall not be assignable or transferable or liable to be attached,
sequestered or levied upon for, or in respect of, any debt or claim
whatsoever.
Recovery of arrears of maintenance
86. (1) Subject to subsection (3), arrears of unsecured maintenance,
whether payable by agreement or under an order of court, shall be
recoverable as a debt from the defaulter and, where they accrued
due before the making of a receiving order against the defaulter,
shall be provable in his or her bankruptcy and, where they accrued
due before his or her death, shall be a debt due from his or her
estate.
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(2) Subject to subsection (3), arrears of unsecured maintenance
which accrued due before the death of the person entitled thereto
shall be recoverable as a debt by the legal personal representatives
of such person.
(3) No amount owing as maintenance shall be recoverable in
any suit if it accrued due more than three years before the institution
of the suit.
PART VIII
PROTECTION OF CHILDREN
Meaning of "child"
87.  In this Part, wherever the context so requires, "child" has the
meaning of "child of the marriage" as defined in section 2 who
is under the age of eighteen years.
Power for court to make order for custody
88. (1) The court may at any time by order place a child in the
custody of his or her father or his or her mother or, where there
are exceptional circumstances making it undesirable that the child
be entrusted to either parent, of any other relative of the child or
of any association the objects of which include child welfare or
to any other suitable person.
(2) In deciding in whose custody a child should be placed the
paramount consideration shall be the welfare of the child and
subject to this the court shall have regard--
(a) to the wishes of the parents of the child; and
(b) to the wishes of the child, where he or she is of an age
to express an independent opinion.
(3) There shall be a rebuttable presumption that it is for the
good of a child below the age of seven years to be with his or her
mother but in deciding whether that presumption applies to the
facts of any particular case, the court shall have regard to the
undesirability of disturbing the life of a child by changes of custody.
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(4) Where there are two or more children of a marriage, the
court shall not be bound to place both or all in the custody of the
same person but shall consider the welfare of each independently.
Orders subject to conditions
89. (1) An order for custody may be made subject to such conditions
as the court may think fit to impose, and subject to such conditions,
if any, as may from time to time apply, shall entitle the person
given custody to decide all questions relating to the upbringing
and education of the child.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), an
order for custody may--
(a) contain conditions as to the place where the child is to
reside, as to the manner of his or her education and as
to the religion in which he or she is to be brought up;
(b) provide for the child to be temporarily in the care and
control of some person other than the person given custody;
(c) provide for the child to visit a parent deprived of custody
or any member of the family of a parent who is dead or
has been deprived of custody at such times and for such
periods as the court may consider reasonable;
(d) give a parent deprived of custody or any member of the
family of a parent who is dead or has been deprived of
custody the right of access to the child at such times and
with such frequency as the court may consider reasonable;
or
(e) prohibit the person given custody from taking the child
out of Malaysia.
Declaratory order as to unfitness of parent to have custody
90. (1) The court may, when granting a divorce or judicial separation,
or at any time thereafter, on the application of the father or the
mother of any child of the marriage, make an order declaring
either parent to be a person unfit to have the custody of the child
and may at any time rescind any such order.
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(2) Where an order has been made under subsection (1), and
has not been rescinded, the parent thereby declared to be unfit
shall not, on the death of the other person, be entitled to the
custody of such child unless the court otherwise orders.
Custody of children deemed legitimate
91.  When a child is deemed to be legitimate under section 75,
the mother shall, in the absence of any agreement or order of court
to the contrary, be entitled to custody of the child.
Duty to maintain children
92.  Except where an agreement or order of court otherwise provides,
it shall be the duty of a parent to maintain or contribute to the
maintenance of his or her children, whether they are in his or her
custody or the custody of any other person, either by providing
them with such accommodation, clothing, food and education as
may be reasonable having regard to his or her means and station
in life or by paying the cost thereof.
Power for court to order maintenance for children
93. (1) The court may at any time order a man to pay maintenance
for the benefit of his child--
(a) if he has refused or neglected reasonably to provide for
the child;
(b) if he has deserted his wife and the child is in her charge;
(c) during the pendency of any matrimonial proceedings; or
(d) when making or subsequent to the making of an order
placing the child in the custody of any other person.
(2) The court shall have the corresponding power to order a
woman to pay or contribute towards the maintenance of her child
where it is satisfied that having regard to her means it is reasonable
so to order.
(3) An order under subsection (1) or (2) may direct payment to
the person having custody or care and control of the child or
trustees for the child.
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Power for court to order security for maintenance
94.  The court may, in its discretion, when ordering the payment
of maintenance for the benefit of any child, order the person liable
to pay such maintenance to secure the whole or any part of it by
vesting any property in trustees upon trust to pay such maintenance
or part thereof out of the income from such property, and subject
thereto, in trust for the settlor.
Duration of orders for custody and maintenance
95.  Except where an order for custody or maintenance of a child
is expressed to be for any shorter period or where any such order
has been rescinded, it shall expire on the attainment by the child
of the age of eighteen years or where the child is under physical
or mental disability, on the ceasing of such disability, whichever
is the later.
Power for court to vary orders for custody or maintenance
96.  The court may at any time and from time to time vary, or
may rescind, any order for the custody or maintenance of a child
on the application of any interested person, where it is satisfied
that the order was based on any misrepresentation or mistake of
fact or where there has been any material change in the circumstances.
Power for court to vary agreement for custody or maintenance
97.  The court may at any time and from time to time vary the
terms of any agreement relating to the custody or maintenance of
a child, whether made before or after the appointed date,
notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in any such agreement,
where it is satisfied that it is reasonable and for the welfare of the
child so to do.
Recovery of arrears of maintenance
98.  Section 86 shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to orders for the
payment of maintenance for the benefit of any child.
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Duty to maintain child accepted as member of family
99. (1) Where a man has accepted a child who is not his child as
a member of his family, it shall be his duty to maintain such child
while he or she remains a child, so far as the father and the mother
of the child fail to do so, and the court may make such orders as
may be necessary to ensure the welfare of the child:
Provided that the duty imposed by this subsection shall cease
if the child is taken away by his or her father or mother.
(2) Any sums expended by a man maintaining such child shall
be recoverable as a debt from the father or mother of the child.
Court to have regard to advice of welfare officers, etc.
100.  When considering any question relating to the custody or
maintenance of any child, the court shall, whenever it is practicable,
take the advice of some person, whether or not a public officer,
who is trained or experienced in child welfare but shall not be
bound to follow such advice.
Power for court to restrain taking of child out of Malaysia
101. (1) The court may on the application of the father or mother
of a child--
(a) where any matrimonial proceeding is pending; or
(b) where, under any agreement or order of court, one parent
has custody of the child to the exclusion of the other,
issue an injunction restraining the other parent from taking the
child out of Malaysia or may give leave for such child to be taken
out of Malaysia either unconditionally or subject to such conditions
or such undertaking as the court may think fit.
(2) The court may, on the application of any interested person,
issue an injunction restraining any person, other than a person
having custody of a child, from taking the child out of Malaysia.
(3) Failure to comply with an order made under this section
shall be punishable as a contempt of court.
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Other reliefs
Power for court to set aside and prevent dispositions intended
to defeat claims to maintenance
102. (1) Where--
(a) any matrimonial proceeding is pending;
(b) an order has been made under section 76 and has not
been complied with;
(c) an order for maintenance has been made under section
77 or 93 and has not been rescinded; or
(d) maintenance is payable under any agreement to or for the
benefit of a spouse or former spouse or child,
the court shall have power on application--
(i) if it is satisfied that any disposition of property has been
made by the spouse or former spouse or parent of the
person by or on whose behalf the application is made,
within the preceding three years, with the object on the
part of the person making the disposition of reducing his
or her means to pay maintenance or of depriving his or
her spouse of any rights in relation to that property, to
set aside the disposition; and
(ii) if it is satisfied that any disposition of property is intended
to be made with any such object, to grant an injunction
preventing that disposition.
(2) For the purposes of this section--
"disposition" includes a sale, gift, lease, mortgage or any other
transaction whereby ownership or possession of the property is
transferred or encumbered but does not include a disposition made
for money or money's worth to or in favour of a person acting in
good faith and in ignorance of the object with which the disposition
is made;
"property" means property of any nature, movable or immovable,
and includes money.
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Injunction against molestation
103.  The court shall have power during the pendency of any
matrimonial proceedings or on or after the grant of a decree or
divorce, judicial separation or annulment, to order any person to
refrain from forcing his or her society on his or her spouse or
former spouse and from other acts of molestation.
PART IX
MISCELLANEOUS
Recognition of marriage contracted abroad
104.  A marriage contracted outside Malaysia other than a marriage
solemnized in a Malaysian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate
under section 26, shall be recognised as valid for all purposes of
the law of Malaysia if--
(a) it was contracted in a form required or permitted by the
law of the country where it was contracted;
(b) each of the parties had, at the time of the marriage,
capacity to marry under the law of the country of his or
her domicile; and
(c) where either of the parties is a citizen of or is domiciled
in Malaysia, both parties had capacity to marry according
to this Act.
Recognition of marriages contracted in Embassies, etc., in
Malaysia
1 0 5 .  A marriage contracted in any foreign Embassy, High
Commission or Consulate in Malaysia shall be recognised as valid
for all purposes of the law of Malaysia if--
(a) it was contracted in a form required or permitted by the
law of the country whose Embassy, High Commission or
Consulate it is, or in a form permitted under this Act;
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(b) each of the parties had, at the time of the marriage,
capacity to marry under the law of the country of his or
her domicile; and
(c) where either of the parties is a citizen of or is domiciled
in Malaysia, both parties had capacity to marry under
this Act.
Requirement of reference to conciliatory body before petition
for divorce
106. (1) No person shall petition for divorce, except under sections
51 and 52, unless he or she has first referred the matrimonial
difficulty to a conciliatory body and that body has certified that
it has failed to reconcile the parties:
Provided that this requirement shall not apply in any case--
(i) where the petitioner alleges that he or she has been deserted
by and does not know the whereabouts of his or her
spouse;
(ii) where the respondent is residing abroad and it is unlikely
that he or she will enter the jurisdiction within six months
next ensuing after the date of the petition;
(iii) where the respondent has been required to appear before
a conciliatory body and has wilfully failed to attend;
(iv) where the respondent is imprisoned for a term of five
years or more;
(v) where the petitioner alleges that the respondent is suffering
from incurable mental illness; or
(vi) where the court is satisfied that there are exceptional
circumstances which make reference to a conciliatory
body impracticable.
(2) A matrimonial difficulty may be referred to any conciliatory
body acceptable to both parties but, where they are unable to agree
on a conciliatory body, shall be referred to the marriage tribunal
for the area in which they reside or, where they are living in
different areas, to the marriage tribunal for the area in which they
had last resided together.
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(3) A "conciliatory body" means--
(a) a council set up for the purposes of reconciliation by the
appropriate authority of any religion, community, clan or
association;
(b) a marriage tribunal; or
(c) any other body approved as such by the Minister by
notice in the Gazette.
(4) A marriage tribunal shall be set up for such specified area
or district as the Minister may decide, consisting of a Chairman
and not less than two nor more than four other members who shall
be nominated by the Minister, or by such officer to whom the
Minister may have delegated his powers to in that behalf.
(5) (a) A conciliatory body to which a matrimonial difficulty
has been referred shall resolve it within the period of six months
from the date of reference; and shall require the attendance of the
parties and shall give each of them an opportunity of being heard
and may hear such other persons and make such inquiries as it may
think fit and may, if it considers it necessary, adjourn its proceedings
from time to time.
(b) If the conciliatory body is unable to resolve the matrimonial
difficulty to the satisfaction of the parties and to persuade them
to resume married life together, it shall issue a certificate to that
effect and may append to its certificate such recommendations as
it thinks fit regarding maintenance, division of matrimonial property
and the custody of the minor children, if any, of the marriage.
(c) No advocate or solicitor shall appear or act as such for any
party in any proceeding before a conciliatory body and no party
shall be represented by any person, other than a member of his or
her family, without the leave of the conciliatory body.
Maintenance of register of divorces and annulments
107. (1) The Registrar General shall maintain a register of divorces
and annulments and shall forthwith enter therein the prescribed
p a r t i c u l a r s of all decrees of divorce and annulment sent to
Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce)
59
him under subsection (2) and of all decrees of divorce and
annulment for the registration of which application is made under
subsection (3).
(2) Every court which grants a decree of divorce or annulment
shall forthwith send one certified true copy of the decree to the
Registrar General for registration.
(3) Where a marriage which is solemnized in Malaysia is dissolved
or annulled by a decree of a court of competent jurisdiction outside
Malaysia, either of the parties may apply to the Registrar General
for the registration of such decree and the Registrar General, on
being satisfied that the decree is one which should be recognised
as valid for the purposes of the law of Malaysia, shall register that
decree.
(4) Where a decree of divorce or annulment, wherever granted,
has dissolved a marriage which was solemnized in Malaysia and
which has been registered under this Act or any written law in
force immediately before the coming into force of this Act, the
Registrar General shall, on registering such decree, cause the entry
in the register of marriage relating to that marriage to be marked
with the word "Dissolved" and a reference to the proceedings in
which that decree was granted.
Power to make rules
108. (1) The Rules Committee may make rules regulating the
practice and procedure in all matrimonial proceedings under this
Act as they consider expedient and also rules to fix and regulate
the fees and costs payable upon all such proceedings; and subject
thereto all proceedings under this Act shall be regulated by the
Divorce and Matrimonial Proceedings Rules 1980.
(2) The Minister may make rules for the purposes of this Act
and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, such
rules may provide for--
(a) prescribing the manner in which the Registrars shall exercise
the powers conferred on them by this Act;
(b) the form of marriage registers and certificates of marriage
and the mode in which the same are to be kept;
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ACT 164
(c) the mode in which the Registrar General, the Superintendent
Registrars, the Registrars and Assistant Registrars shall
keep certificates of marriage, marriage registers and indices
thereof;
(d) the supply and the safe custody of marriage registers,
Registrars' note-books and all declarations made for the
purposes of this Act;
(e) the preparation and submission of returns of marriages
solemnized in Malaysia and abroad and of marriages
registered under this Act;
(f) the forms of any certificates, notices or other documents
required for the purpose of carrying out this Act;
(g) the making of searches and the giving of certified copies;
(h) fixing the fees chargeable for the purposes of this Act.
Repeal
109. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the written laws or provisions
of the written laws to the extent specified in the Schedule are
repealed.
(2) All proceedings commenced under the Divorce Ordinance
1952 [Ord. 74 of 1952], Sabah Divorce Ordinance 1963 [Sabah Ord.
7 of 1963], and Matrimonial Causes Ordinance [Sarawak Cap. 94]
repealed shall, so far as practicable, be continued under this Act and
for this purpose, every petition for divorce other than one on which
a decree nisi has been granted, shall be deemed to be a petition for
divorce under this Act and the grounds set out in the petition shall be
deemed to be the principal allegations which it will be sought to prove
as evidence of the breakdown of the marriage, but every such petition
shall, unless the court otherwise orders, be stayed pending reference
to a conciliatory body; and where a decree nisi has been granted, the
proceedings shall continue as if this Act has not been passed.
(3) The Registration of Marriages Ordinance 1952 [Ord. 53
of 1952] is extended to Sabah and Sarawak.
Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce)
61
SCHEDULE
[Section 109]
PENINSULAR MALAYSIA
Ordinances and Acts
Short Title
Extent of Repeal
No. 44 of 1952
Civil Marriage Ordinance 1952
Whole
No. 53 of 1952
Registration of Marriages
In so far as it
Ordinance 1952
applies to persons
whose marriages
are registrable
under this Act
No. 74 of 1952
Divorce Ordinance 1952
Whole
No. 33 of 1956
Christian Marriage Ordinance
Whole
1956
Act 60
Legitimacy Act 1961
Subsection 3(2)
No. 36 of 1950
Married Women and Children
The words "not
(Maintenance) Ordinance 1950
exceeding fifty
dollars" in
subsection 3(2)
SABAH AND SARAWAK
Sarawak Cap. 74
Chinese Marriage Ordinance
Whole
(1948 Edition
Volume III)
Sarawak Cap. 92
Church and Civil Marriages
Whole
Ordinances
Sarawak Cap. 94
Matrimonial Causes Ordinance
Whole
Sabah No. 7 of
Divorce Ordinance 1963
Whole
1963
Sabah Cap. 24
Christian Marriage Ordinance
Whole
1919
Sabah No. 14 of
The Marriage Ordinance 1959
Whole
1959
Laws of Malaysia
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ACT 164
LAWS OF MALAYSIA
Act 164
LAW REFORM (MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE)
ACT 1976
LISTS OF AMENDMENTS
Amending law
Short title
In force from
Act 160
Malaysian Currency (Ringgit) Act
29-08-1975
1975
Act A327
Penal Code (Amendment and
31-03-1976
Extension) Act 1976
Act 92
Subordinate Courts Act 1948
01-06-1981
(Section 111--P.U. (A) 357/1980)
Act A498
Law Reform (Marriage and
01-03-1982
Divorce) (Amendment) Act 1980
Act A650
Law Reform (Marriage and
16-05-1986
Divorce) (Amendment) Act 1986
Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce)
63
LAWS OF MALAYSIA
Act 164
LAW REFORM (MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE)
ACT 1976
LISTS OF SECTIONS AMENDED
Section
Amending authority
In force from
2
Act A498
01-03-1982
3
Act A498
01-03-1982
4
Act A498
01-03-1982
5
Act A650
16-05-1986
7
Act A650
16-05-1986
8
Act A498
01-03-1982
12
Act A498
01-03-1982
14
Act A498
01-03-1982
15
Act A498
01-03-1982
21
Act A498
01-03-1982
26
Act A650
16-05-1986
28
Act A498
01-03-1982
30
Act A498
01-03-1982
31
Act A498
01-03-1982
32
Act A498
01-03-1982
33
Act A498
01-03-1982
44
Act A498
01-03-1982
45
Act A498
01-03-1982
46
Act A498
01-03-1982
Laws of Malaysia
64
ACT 164
Section
Amending authority
In force from
46A
Act A498
01-03-1982
46B
Act A498
01-03-1982
51
Act A498
01-03-1982
52
Act A498
01-03-1982
58
Act A498
01-03-1982
69
Act A498
01-03-1982
75
Act A498
01-03-1982
108
Act A498
01-03-1982
109
Act A498
01-03-1982
Schedule
Act A498
01-03-1982
DICETAK OLEH
PERCETAKAN NASIONAL MALAYSIA BERHAD,
KUALA LUMPUR
BAGI PIHAK DAN DENGAN PERINTAH KERAJAAN MALAYSIA