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At 5 Divorce Applications Every Hour, Marriages Are Breaking!

by K. Vatsala Devi
marriages are ending in divorce

Blame it on the pandemic or the prolonged lockdowns that has caused people to stay mostly indoors, but divorce rates have been on the rise ever since the Covid-19 pandemic started wrecking havoc in Malaysia and other parts of the world.

Last month, The Star online reported that almost 78,000 divorces were recorded nationwide since the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak began last year, this was announced by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob in a written reply to a question raised by Datuk Dr Hasan Bahrom (PH-Tampin) in Dewan Rakyat.

He further broke down the numbers to reveal that a total of 10,346 divorces involved non-Muslim couples while 66,440 cases involved Muslims between March last year and August this year. Today, the figures have gotten more startling when the same daily reported that an average of five divorce applications are filed every hour nationwide.

Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin, the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said more than 76,000 divorce applications were filed by non-Muslims and Muslim couples between March 2020 and August this year.  She said there were 10,346 applications by non-Muslims.

“Of this, Selangor has the highest number of applications with 3,160, followed by Kuala Lumpur (2,893) and Perak (1,209),” she said. Mas Ermieyati also said there were 66,440 divorce applications by Muslim couples during the same period. She said Selangor again topped the list with 12,479 cases, followed by Johor (7,558) and Kedah (5,985).

There are some theories as to why divorce rate could experience an increase. The pandemic and the ensuing movement control order (MCO) implemented by the Government to flatten the curve has forced many working adults to stay home for prolonged periods. This could potentially lead to couples being forced to interact and engage with each other in different ways or to even address issues that they could have avoided discussing in the past.

With nowhere to run or hide, confronting uncomfortable issues could take a toll on a marriage and even worse a fragile one. One other theory is the overall stresses of the pandemic — financial, emotional, and physical have pushed partners to look at their significant others in a different light and that too could add strain to any relationships.

Though the number of divorce applications are high, Mas Ermieyati  was quick to add that filed applications doesn’t necessarily translate to couples being divorced.

Let’s hope that now with the many SOPs relaxed or removed, that would help in improving relationships and that couples may want to rethink their decisions.

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