Friday 22 April 2016

We are now certified .....

..... as a legally married couple in the eyes of the Akta Undang-Undang Keluarga Islam (Wilayah-Wilayah Persekutuan) 1984, Seksyen 31 (4).

What a relief!  It's like the rich and gooey icing on a Not-so-Secret Recipe Wedding Anniversary Cake.

We have been married for 30 years.  Our marriage was in 1986 at Masjid Assyakirin Jurong, Singapore.  We were issued a wedding certificate by MUIS Singapore.  It was all strictly above board and fully compliant with both the  secular and religious rulings.  We did not opt for some murky corner in Cambodia, Thailand or Indonesia - the various Malaysian versions of Gretna Green.

Before I took up Malaysian citizenship ( which was a heartfelt conscious desire to return to the land of my forefathers), the spouse and I would include our MUIS marriage certificate as a must-have item in our luggage.  It does look a tad travel-worn by now because it accompanied us on our family visits to Batu Pahat/Segamat/ Kuala Lumpur, to our jalan-jalan in Penang, Kedah, Perak, Negri Sembilan, Melaka, Sabah and Sarawak.  We were warned about Khalwat ; about being caught like a wetback in the US, i.e tangkap basah.

With my change of nationality, I discovered to my horror that we had to go through the nightmarish process of justifying the legality (religious) of our marriage despite our 30-year Marriage  Certificate  from  MUIS Singapore.  One day, perhaps one day, I'll write down the whole gory details of that re-certification drama and trauma which turned my brain bald and my spirit shapeless.

But right now I'm so thankful for that piece of paper which contains just a re-write of the details in our Singapore Marriage Certificate.  But  JAWI forgot to include an important item which MUIS Singapore had assiduously noted down - the name Donald Iain Buchanan @ Mohd Yassir Buchanan bin Abdullah - the genesis of which the religious authorities in Kuala Lumpur were very concerned about. 


A matter of language - Certify, Certifiable and Certification

Finally we must be very careful in our use of words :  To certify (as a verb), means to attest to as the truth or meeting a standard.  Certifiable - which is derived from the verb certify - can be used in two ways.  Firstly it can refer to documents which are certifiable - i.e they can or must be certified.  But throughout all of that period leading up to our Certification  we carried the albatross of the other meaning of certifiable.

That version of certifiable means 'a crazy person' - albeit it's an informal use - but most of the time we did feel like we were in a loony bin or a sin bin!!

You can read of my weary despair at

 At last I can hope and begin to pick up the pieces of AsH.  Thank you all for the patience and indulgence,