High Court Judge Ask Dato Hamzah To Pay His First Wife RM11.2 Million In Settlements For Divorcing Her To Marry A Much Younger Wife

Since 10 March 2020, Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin has been Malaysia’s Minister of Home Affairs.

Hamzah Zainudin holds a Diploma in Quantity Surveying from the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and began his career as a General Manager with Maju Bangun Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary company of the Perak State Development Corporation from 1980 till 1987.

Hamzah has also served as a member of the Board of Ipoh City Council and Stadium Merdeka Corporation from 1987 to 1993 and 1991 to 1997 respectively.

In 1989, Hamzah ventured into private business and sat on several companies listed on Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad (known then as the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange). He held various Chairman and Deputy Chairman duties, including Chairman of FELCRA Berhad, the Federal Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority that oversees land management and development of agro land owned by the State and individuals.

Arguably, Hamzah only gained political prominence in 2008 when he was elected to the House of Representatives (Dewan Rakyat) and became a Member of Parliament (MP) for Larut in Perak. Previously he was a Senator in Parliament (Dewan Negara) from 2000 – 2006.

One of the first times Hamzah was caught in a public hullabaloo was matters of his own personal home affairs.

In 2004, he was asked to pay his first wife Nooraini Rashid RM11.2 million in settlements for allegedly divorcing her to marry a much younger wife. In 2007 however, the Syariah Appeals Court allowed for his appeal to not pay his ex-wife.

Perak Syariah High Court judge Hassan Basri Shafie had ordered Hamzah, who is also the Ipoh Barat UMNO division chief, to make payment within a month RM1.2 million for mutaah (compensation for disgrace due to divorce) to his ex-wife Nooraini Abdul Rashid, 46, while the remainder would be given in movable and immovable assets acquired by the couple during their marriage (harta sepencarian).

Hassan said Nooraini was entitled to the compensation because throughout their marriage she had never disgraced him and had always protected the honour and safety of their children. She had also been loyal and there were no reports of disobedience on her part from any syariah court.

He said the wife was also entitled to a share of the common property acquired during the marriage.

The judge ordered Hamzah to pay a monthly RM2,000 for maintenance, RM1,500 for clothes and accessories and RM1,000 for looking after the children for the 15 years that they were married, bringing the total to RM810,000. He also awarded a total of RM396,066 to Nooraini, a former secretary, in arrears in salary for 22 years after she resigned from her job when she got married.

Hassan also declared 63,192,858 shares owned by Hamzah in three companies as common property with his ex-wife and gave him a choice to transfer a third of the shares to her or pay her RM10 million.

On Hamzah’s counter-claim for two BMW cars, a Honda Civic and a house in Subang Jaya, the court said that Nooraini could keep them as gifts.

The couple were married in 1981 and have four children aged 13 to 22. Nooraini brought the suit after Hamzah divorced her in 1996.

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