Hard to trace alimony defaulters

Saturday, 13 November 2010 09:52AM
©The Star (Used by permission)

NUSAJAYA: It is common for men who have been ordered to pay alimony to disappear after making only a few payments, the Johor state assembly heard. “Our welfare officers often face this problem.
“But what can we do if the person involved cannot be traced?” asked state Women, Family, Health and Community Development Committee chairman Dr Robia Kosai. “One way to solve the problem is to find a new partner for the single mother,” she said.

On a suggestion to penalise welfare officers for not being able to trace the husbands involved and to collect the alimony payment, she said it was not a good plan as the department “could only do so much”.

Dr Robia was replying to questions posed by Ng Lam Hua (DAP-Mengkibol), Mohamad Taslim (PAS-Maharani) and Goh Tee Tee (BN-Tangkak) at the state assembly sitting here yesterday.

She told the House that issues of alimony payments and the increasing divorce rate were widespread problems in Johor. She said that although many steps had been taken to curb these problems, they were difficult to resolve without the cooperation of the couples involved.
“We have many counselling sessions for married couples who are facing relationship problems.
“But many non-Malays, especially Indian couples, are not interested in these programmes,” she said in reply to M.M. Sam(BN-Permas).

Dr Robia said counsellors who conducted the programmes were experienced in marriage counselling, and if more couples joined the programme, the divorce rate could be brought down.

A state assemblyman voiced concerns over ambulance drivers who misused their sirens to beat traffic. Ng See Tiong (BN-Parit Yaani) alleged that several irresponsible ambulance drivers misused their sirens to clear traffic “just to rush to a nearby mamak or fruit stall”. “The person who complained about these drivers even went to the fruit stall to check if there was a patient in the van and, of course, there was no one in there.
“We should do something immediately to stop this problem as it could cause people to stop giving way ambulances when there is a real emergency,” he said.

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Saturday July 10, 2010

Assemblyman: Cut red tape to help the poor

By FARIK ZOLKEPLI and MOHD FARHAAN SHAH at the Johor state assembly

KOTA ISKANDAR: The government’s move to introduce the E-Kasih programme to help the poor was a good move towards caring for the less fortunate but too many procedures have led to confusion.
Munusamy Mareemuthu (BN-Permas) said the government recently launched the programme under the Prime Minister’s department to help the poor to receive welfare aid.

“Recipients from the welfare department or other agencies must re-register themselves under the E-Kasih programme,” he said, adding this has created difficulties among the poor as they face a risk of not getting aid.
He questioned why individuals who have registered with the welfare department or other agencies could not be automatically registered under the E-Kasih programme.

Munusamy said automatic registration for those who had already registered with the Welfare department would prevent their names and information from being disregarded.
“We do not want the poor to be burdened by a weak system,” he said He said E-Kasih registrants would also be entitled for assistance in enrolling for public universities.

Mohamad Taslim (PAS-Maharani) wanted to know of target groups for the programme.
“I have been asked to support applications by the poor for the programme but their names are not in the system,” he said.
Mohamed said further checks on their background revealed the applicants were really poor.
“The Government must ensure the registration for the programme is made easier in order to help the poor,” he said.