LAWS OF MALAYSIA
REPRINT
Act 450
MARRIED WOMEN ACT 1957
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 450
MARRIED WOMEN ACT 1957
First enacted
... ... ... ... ... 1957 (Ord. No. 36 of 1957)
Revised
... ... ... ... ... ... 1990 (Act 450 w.e.f.
23 November 1990)
PREVIOUS REPRINT
First Reprint
...
...
...
...
... 2001
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LAWS OF MALAYSIA
Act 450
MARRIED WOMEN ACT 1957
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
Section
1.
Short title and application
2.
Interpretation
3.
Application of Act to Muslims to be subject to Islamic law
4.
Capacity of married women
4A. Capacity of husband and wife to sue each other for personal injuries
5.
Property of married women
6.
Abolition of husband's liability for wife's torts and ante-nuptial contracts,
debts and obligations
(Deleted)
7.
8.
Gifts by husband to wife
9.
Remedies of married women for protection and security of separate
property
10.
Wife's ante-nuptial debts and liabilities
11.
Questions between husband and wife as to property to be decided in
a summary way
12.
Married women as an executrix or trustee
13.
Saving of existing settlements and the power to make future settlements
14.
Legal representative of married woman
15.
Saving
(Omitted)
16.
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ACT 450
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LAWS OF MALAYSIA
Act 450
MARRIED WOMEN ACT 1957
An Act relating to married women.
[15 August 1957]
Short title and application
1. (1) This Act may be cited as the Married Women Act 1957.
(2) This Act shall apply to the States of Peninsular Malaysia
only.
Interpretation
2. (1) In this Act--
"married woman" includes any woman married in accordance
with the rites and ceremonies required by her religion, manners or
customs;
"contract" includes the acceptance of any trust or of the office
of executrix or administratrix;
"property" includes a thing in action;
"Peninsular Malaysia" has the meaning assigned thereto in
section 3 of the Interpretation Acts 1948 and 1967 [Act 388], and
includes the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur.
(2) The provisions of this Act as to the liabilities of married
women shall extend to all liabilities by reason of any breach of
trust or devastavit committed by any married woman being a
trustee or executrix or administratrix either before or after her
marriage, and her husband shall not be subject to such liabilities
unless he has acted or intermeddled in the trust or administration.
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ACT 450
Application of Act to Muslims to be subject to Islamic law
3.  This Act shall have effect in the States of Johore, Kedah,
Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Selangor,
Terengganu and the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur in relation
to Muslim married women and their property, rights and obligations
subject to the Islamic law and the customs of the Malays governing
the relations between husband and wife so far as the same may
be applicable, and in the States of Malacca and Penang subject to
the Islamic law of the States in all cases to which such last mentioned
Islamic law extends.
Capacity of married women
4. Subject to this Act, a married woman shall--
(a) be capable of acquiring, holding and disposing of, any
property;
(b) be capable of rendering herself, and being rendered, liable
in respect of any tort, contract, debt or obligation;
(c) be capable of suing and being sued in her own name
either in tort or in contract or otherwise and shall be
entitled to all remedies and redress for all purposes; and
(d) be subject to the law relating to bankruptcy and to the
enforcement of judgments and orders,
in all respects as if she were a feme sole.
Capacity of husband and wife to sue each other for personal
injuries
4A.  A husband or a wife shall be entitled to sue each other in tort
for damages in respect of injuries to his or her person, as the case
may be, in the like manner as any other two separate individuals.
Property of married women
5. (1) Subject to this Act all property which--
(a) immediately before the date of the coming into force of
this Act was the property (including the separate property)
of a married woman or held for her separate use in equity;
or
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(b) belongs at the time of her marriage to a woman married
after the date of the coming into force of this Act; or
(c) after the date of the coming into force of this Act is
acquired by or devolves upon a married woman,
shall belong to her in all respects as if she were a feme sole and
may be disposed of accordingly:
Provided that nothing in this subsection shall--
(a) be construed as affecting adversely the right of any married
woman to any property which she had immediately before
the date of the coming into force of this Act; or
(b) interfere with or render inoperative any valid restriction
upon anticipation or alienation attached to the enjoyment
of any property by virtue of any provision contained in
any written law in force immediately before the date of
the coming into force of this Act, or in any instrument
executed before such date.
(2) Any instrument executed on or after the date of the coming
into force of this Act, shall, in so far as it purports to attach to
the enjoyment of any property by a woman any restriction upon
anticipation or alienation which could not have been attached to
the enjoyment of that property by a man, be void.
(3) For the purposes of this section relating to restrictions upon
anticipation or alienation--
(a) an instrument attaching such a restriction as aforesaid
executed on or after the date of the coming into force of
this Act, in pursuance of an obligation imposed before
that date to attach such a restriction shall be deemed to
have been executed before such date;
(b) a provision contained in an instrument made in exercise
of a special power of appointment shall be deemed to be
contained in that instrument only and not in the instrument
by which the power was created; and
(c) the will of any testator who dies after the date of the
coming into force of this Act, shall (notwithstanding the
actual date of the execution thereof) be deemed to have
been executed after such date.
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ACT 450
Abolition of husband's liability for wife's torts and ante-nuptial
contracts, debts and obligations
6.  Subject to this Act, the husband of a married woman shall not,
by reason only of his being husband, be liable--
(a) in respect of any tort committed by her whether before
or after the marriage, or in respect of any contract entered
into, or debt or obligation incurred, by her before the
marriage; or
(b) to be sued, or made a party to any legal proceeding
brought, in respect of any such tort, contract, debt or
obligation.
7. (Deleted by Ord. 20 of 1959).
Gifts by husband to wife
8.  Nothing in this Act shall give validity, as against creditors of
the husband, to any gift by a husband to his wife of any property
which, after such gift, continues to be in the order and disposition
or reputed ownership of the husband, or to any deposit or other
investment of moneys of the husband made by or in the name of
his wife in fraud of his creditors; but any moneys so deposited or
invested may be followed as if they belong to the husband.
Remedies of married women for protection and security of
separate property
9. (1) Every married woman shall have in her own name against
her husband, the same remedies and redress for the protection and
security of her property as if such property belonged to her as a
feme sole.
(2) A husband or a wife shall be entitled to sue each other in
tort for the protection or security of his or her property, as the case
may be.
(3) In any criminal charge or in any other proceeding relating
to the property of a married woman it shall be sufficient to allege
such property to be her property.
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(4) No criminal proceeding shall be taken against a husband or
wife while they are living together as to or concerning any property
claimed by her or him respectively nor while they are living apart
as to or concerning any act done by the husband or wife while they
were living together concerning property claimed by the wife or
husband respectively unless such property has been wrongly taken
by the husband or wife when leaving or deserting or about to leave
or desert the wife or husband respectively.
(5) In any action or proceedings by a married woman or by a
next friend on her behalf, the Court before which such action or
proceedings is pending shall have jurisdiction by judgment or
order to order payment of the costs of the opposite party out of
property which is subject to a restraint on anticipation, and may
enforce such payment by the appointment of a receiver and the
sale of the property or otherwise as is just.
Wife's ante-nuptial debts and liabilities
10. (1) A woman after her marriage shall continue to be liable for
all debts contracted and all contracts entered into or wrongs committed
by her before her marriage, including any sums for which she is
liable as a contributory, either before or after she has been placed
on the list of contributories under and by virtue of any written law
relating to joint stock companies.
(2) Such woman may be sued for any such debt and for any
liability in damages or otherwise under any such contract or in
respect of any such wrong.
Questions between husband and wife as to property to be decided
in a summary way
11. (1) In any question between husband and wife as to the title
to or possession of property, either party may apply by summons
or otherwise in a summary way to any Judge of the High Court
or where the value of the property falls within the civil jurisdiction
of a Sessions Court to the Sessions Court Judge, and the Judge or
Sessions Court Judge may make such order with respect to the
property in dispute and as to the costs of and consequent on the
application as he thinks fit, or may direct such application to stand
over, and any inquiry touching the matters in question to be made
in such manner as he thinks fit.
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ACT 450
(2)
Any order made under this section shall be subject to appeal
in the
same way as an order made by the same Judge or Sessions
Court
Judge as the case may be in an action pending in the High
Court
or Sessions Court respectively.
(3) The Judge or Sessions Court Judge if either party so requires,
may hear any such application in his Chambers.
Married woman as an executrix or trustee
12.  A married woman who is an executrix or administratrix,
alone or jointly with any other person, of the estate of any deceased
person, or a trustee alone or jointly as aforesaid of property subject
to any trust, may sue or be sued, and may transfer or join in
transferring any movable or immovable property belonging to the
e s t a t e or trust without her husband as if she were a
feme sole.
Saving of existing settlements and the power to make future
settlements
13. (1) Nothing in this Act other than subsection 5(2) shall interfere
with or affect any settlement or agreement for a settlement made
or to be made, whether before or after marriage, respecting the
property of any married woman.
(2) No restriction against anticipation contained in any settlement
or agreement for a settlement of a woman's own property to which
proviso (a) to subsection 5(1) applies shall, if made or entered into
by such woman have any validity against debts contracted by her
before marriage, and no settlement or agreement for a settlement
shall have any greater force or validity against creditors of a
woman than a like settlement or agreement for a settlement made
or entered into by a man would have against his creditors.
Legal representative of married woman
14.  For the purposes of this Act, the legal personal representative
of any married woman shall, in respect of her estate, have the same
rights and liabilities as she would have, and be subject to the same
jurisdiction as she would be, if she were living.
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Saving
15. (1) It is hereby declared that the rights and obligations of a
married woman in the States of Johore, Kedah, Kelantan, Negeri
Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Selangor, Terengganu and the
Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur were not affected by the Civil
Law (Extension) Ordinance 1951 [Ord. No 49 of 1951], or by the
repeal of paragraph 10(a) of the Civil Law Enactment 1937, of the
Federated Malay States [F.M.S. Enact. No. 3 of 1937] by the Civil
Law Act 1956 [Act 67], but that at all times before the commencement
of this Act such rights and obligations were in respect of all
matters provided for by this Act the same as those of a feme sole.
(2) Subsection (1) has effect in relation to Muslim married
women and their property rights and obligations subject to Islamic
law and the customs of the Malays governing the relations be-
tween husband and wife so far as the same may be applicable.
16. (Omitted).
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ACT 450
LAWS OF MALAYSIA
Act 450
MARRIED WOMEN ACT 1957
LIST OF AMENDMENTS
Amending law
Short title
In force from
L.N. 332/1958
Federal Constitution (Modification
13-11-1958
of Laws) (Ordinances and
Proclamations) Order 1958
Ord. 20/1959
Bankruptcy Ordinance 1959
30-05-1959
Act A565
Married Women (Amendment)
13-05-1983
Act 1983
Act A671
Subordinate Courts (Amendment)
22-05-1987
Act 1987
Act A893
Married Women (Amendment)
08-07-1994
Act 1994
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LAWS OF MALAYSIA
Act 450
MARRIED WOMEN ACT 1957
LIST OF SECTIONS AMENDED
Section
Amending authority
In force from
3
L.N. 332/1958
13-11-1958
7
Ord. 20/1959
30-05-1959
4A
Act A893
08-07-1994
9
Act A893
08-07-1994
11
Act A565
13-05-1983
Act A671
22-05-1987
DICETAK OLEH
PERCETAKAN NASIONAL MALAYSIA BERHAD,
KUALA LUMPUR
BAGI PIHAK DAN DENGAN PERINTAH KERAJAAN MALAYSIA
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ACT 450