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How Often Do Couples 'Do It' in Malaysia? The Results Are In!

about 2 years ago



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On the heels of Valentine's Day, we're dismayed to announce that there's a divorce every 10 minutes in Malaysia

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Khoo Kay Peng & Pauline Chai

When Malaysian billionaire Khoo Kay Peng did not comply with the terms of a financial commitment to Pauline Chai (see pix), his wife and a former Miss Malaysia, the Court in London issued an order, not so long ago, to forcibly transfer RM780, 000 from his account to hers. A judgment debtor summons proceedings, that could have put Khoo in jail, was deferred.

At that time, the divorce settlement had not been reached. Finally, push came to shove and this is what has now happened:

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Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib

In the case of Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib, the son of Sarawak Governor Taib Mahmud, he offered an out-of-court divorce settlement last May, in response to his ex-wife Shahnaz A Majid’s matrimonial claims. The offer came a day after the Kuala Lumpur Syariah High Court ordered him to declare his assets.

Zheng Zhuan Yao @ Tay Chuan Yao

In another case in neighbouring Singapore, the ex-husband preferred to go to jail rather than pay his ex-wife. He’s unlikely to be able to get away with non-compliance and/or violation.

These cases are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

In Malaysia, there’s a divorce every 10 minutes according to 2012 figures where 56,760 divorces were recorded in the country, as collated by

According to the website, the reasons for divorce especially among the young range from: "Divorce? No big deal!" to “I come first”; "Girl power: Having the guts to divorce"; and 30 is the new 20.

So, if anyone is thinking about divorcing his or her partner, it would be worthwhile thinking over what’s at stake.

Common Mistakes

The consensus of opinion is, remaining in the dark about the money side is the biggest mistake among those considering going separate ways. If one party has always handled the finances, the other party will be at a disadvantage in Court. That was clear in the three cases illustrated.

Here’s a list of common mistakes put together after consulting various sources:

  • not considering mediation;
  • hiring a combative lawyer to punish the spouse;
  • failing to recognise the common enemy i.e. the Inland Revenue Board; not producing an accurate budget;
  • disregarding the impact of taxes in a divorce settlement;
  • failure to evaluate settlement proposals;
  • being emotionally attached to assets in divorce negotiations;
  • over-using the divorce lawyer;
  • settlement offers that look too good;
  • disregarding the longterm impact of inflation;
  • failing to consider the spouse’s eligibility for retirement and social security benefits; forgetting to update estate documents;
  • failure to adequately insure the divorce settlement;
  • and failure to develop a post-divorce financial plan.

It was the writer Somerset Maugham who observed:

We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person.

Looking for advice on your marriage issue? Find out more at:

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This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice. Every situation is unique and dependent on the facts (ie, the circumstances surrounding your individual case) so we recommend that you consult a lawyer before considering any further action. All articles have been scrutinized by a practicing lawyer to ensure accuracy.
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