SINGAPORE: Proposed changes to Muslim marriage laws in Singapore go digital as the Administration of Muslim Law Act (AMLA) aims to streamline processes and bring essential services online. The Ministry of Culture, Community, and Youth (MCCY) has invited public feedback on the draft Administration of Muslim Law (Amendment) Bill until Nov 30, 2023.

The heart of these changes is facilitating a more convenient and efficient marriage solemnization process. Under the proposed amendments, Muslim couples will no longer need physical signatures from the solemniser and witnesses for their marriages. Instead, the introduction of digital Certificates of Marriage will mark a shift towards online documentation.

“The proposed amendments will facilitate the implementation of this new digital system, including the introduction of digital Certificates of Marriage that will no longer require the signatures of the Kadi/Naib Kadi (solemniser), parties and witnesses,” the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth explained.

This move is aligned with the broader strategy of digitizing marriage procedures, echoing similar steps taken in civil marriages. To better serve Muslim couples, the Registry of Muslim Marriages (ROMM) has already implemented the Our Marriage Journey system, providing e-services for Muslim marriage solemnisations.

See also  Singaporean actor Aliff Aziz loses wife as she is granted a divorce due to his straying ways

Beyond the digitalization of marriage processes, the proposed amendments address broader aspects of Muslim legal administration. The amendments aim to empower the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) to create wakafs, ensuring sustainable funding for the future needs of the Muslim community.

The statement also stated: “The proposed amendments will empower Muis to create wakafs such as the Wakaf Masyarakat Singapura (WMS) with an expanded definition of a wakaf to include those whose donors are the collective Muslim community in Singapore rather than an individual or family.”

Additionally, the changes include defining Muslim religious schools more clearly and enabling Muis to better administer all such schools in Singapore, encompassing online and physical classes. This shift comes in response to challenges identified during the COVID-19 pandemic when unregistered online religious classes were conducted.

As Singapore embraces the digital age, these proposed changes aim to modernize the Administration of Muslim Law, ensuring that statutory Muslim institutions, such as Muis, the Syariah Court, and the Registry of Muslim Marriages, operate efficiently and effectively. Public feedback is welcomed until November 30, with MCCY committed to refining the amendments based on community input.

See also  Actress Christina Ricci and hair stylist Mark Hampton tie the knot

The Ministry’s released statement stated: “All comments received during the consultation will be reviewed and some provisions may be further refined based on feedback received during this consultation. We will publish a summary of the main comments received on the REACH website, together with our responses, after this consultation exercise closes. Please be assured that the identities of the respondents will not be disclosed in the summary.”/TISG