Malaysian government contemplates mandatory HIV testing for couples getting married


The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry (KPWKM) will look to implement mandatory HIV testing for non-Muslim couples who intend to get married.

The minister, Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, said since non-Muslim marriages follow civil law and carrying out the (HIV) test would involve costs, discussions with the Home Ministry and the Finance Minister were necessary to implement such measures.

She said that for now, there were no provisions that make it compulsory for non-Muslim couples to undergo HIV testing before getting married.

“In principle, we support compulsory HIV testing but it involves costs and provisions, we do agree and we will work on getting it,” she said at the debate on the Supply Bill 2019 for her ministry at the Dewan Negara.

Dr. Wan Azizah, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, said extending the pre-marital course to non-Muslim couples, was still being discussed with the relevant parties.

She said so far, the outcome of the discussion with members of the interfaith council had been good and they welcomed the proposal, however some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were still not in agreement in implementing it in a uniform manner covering the various races and religions.

“This effort is still being carried out by the ministry through LPPKN (National Population and Family Development Board) through a pioneer proposal in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya,” said Dr. Wan Azizah.

Meanwhile, commenting on the disclosure of sexual crime data developed by the Malaysian Police (PDRM), Dr. Wan Azizah said the data was not displayed openly as there were concerns that it could be manipulated by irresponsible parties.

However, she acknowledged that such data was important for the public to be aware that all parties, especially women, may be prepared with information to protect themselves and to avoid being in dangerous situations.

“The PDRM has warned that it is illegal to make known sexual crime data as it can cause anxiety and would not help in controlling the situation. However, there is a discussion with my ministry about the existence of “hot spots” where women will be informed about places that could be of risk to their safety.”


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